Two Palestinian teenagers were shot and killed by Israel Defence Forces (IDF) soldiers at the Gaza border on Friday, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. The Israeli army has not commented on the deaths.
The incident happened as an estimated 8,200 Palestinians took part in protests at the Gaza border which turned violent as rioters threw rocks, fire bombs and explosives at soldiers positioned on the Israeli side of the border.
The IDF said the rioters were “hurling rocks at troops and towards the security fence, as well as a number of explosive devices that did not cross the fence”. Israeli soldiers responded “with riot dispersal means and fired according to standard operating procedures”.
A mortar was reportedly fired towards Israel from Gaza on Friday, although according to Times of Israel, the projectiles fell short and landed inside the strip.
Riots also took place on Sunday night for the first time in a number of months, as dozens of Palestinians launched firecrackers and fireworks at IDF forces east of Jabalia in northern Gaza. Night time rioting had previously ceased as part of an arrangement between Israel and Hamas that allowed Qatari funds to enter Gaza. These funds are now being transferred through the UN, and not directly to Hamas, which Hamas considers a violation of the agreement.
The London-based Saudi newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat has reported that Egyptian officials have met with representatives of Palestinian groups in Gaza, including the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad to try to calm the situation.
In an unrelated incident over the weekend, two Palestinians died in a tunnel along the border between Egypt and Gaza after inhaling poisonous gas. One of the victims was an officer in Hamas. A Hamas statement said the officer was “on a security mission to inspect the tunnel”. The Jerusalem Post reported on Monday morning that the Egyptian military was the source of the poisonous gas.
On Sunday night the Israeli Navy arrested an unarmed Palestinian man who attempted to swim into Israel from Gaza.