Over 10,000 Palestinians demonstrated and rioted along the Gaza border on Wednesday, marking Nakba Day, despite the unofficial ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.
Rioters threw rocks and attempted to damage the security fence, and smoke from burning tires inside Gaza was clearly visible from several miles away.
The IDF said it was responding with tear gas, rubber bullets and, in some cases, live fire.
Balloon-borne incendiary devices flew over the border and into southern Israel, where they sparked at least five blazes of varying size. One was burning in a forest, and another was in a wheat field, according to the firefighting service.
The Hamas-run health ministry said that 65 Palestinians were wounded in clashes with the Israeli security forces. Sixteen of them were hit by live fire, the ministry said.
IDF forces arrested an Arab man who tried to infiltrate from Gaza into Israel, Arutz Sheva said, quoting an Arab news source.
Senior Hamas official Fathi Hamad urged the demonstrators on: “We came to tell the Zionist enemy, its men, army, government and Knesset: ‘Go away from us.’ The day of your slaughter, extermination and demise is approaching.”
“All of you should look for a place in Europe … the sea, the ocean or the Bermuda Triangle. There is no place for all of you in Palestine. There is no place for you in the land of Jerusalem. There is no place for you in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jaffa, Haifa, Acre or any place.”
Hamas has never revoked its covenant to destroy the state of Israel.