IDF Strikes Hamas Sites in Gaza After Border Clashes Leave Soldier Fighting for His Life

Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli forces during a protest at the Israel-Gaza border, east of Gaza City, on Aug. 21. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

The Border Police officer shot along the Gaza border during violent protests on Shabbos was identified overnight as 21-year-old St.-Sgt. Barel Shmueli from Be’er Yaakov.

Shmueli, who enlisted in 2019 and served as a sniper in the Border Police’s Mistaravim Undercover unit in the South, underwent several surgeries at Soroka hospital in Be’er Sheva and remains in critical life-threatening condition.

Shmueli’s commander, Chief Superintendent K., told 103FM that he was “a valued, sociable, professional fighter” who had been mentoring new recruits.

Meanwhile, the IDF bombed Palestinian weapons sites in the Gaza Strip early Sunday in response to a violent demonstration on the Gaza border fence.

The violence erupted after hundreds of Palestinians took part in a demonstration organized by Gaza’s Hamas rulers to draw attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the territory. The demonstration grew violent after dozens of people approached the border fence and threw rocks and explosives toward IDF soldiers from behind a black smoke screen billowing from burning tires.

The IDF said in a statement that in response to the violent demonstrations, fighter planes hit “four weapons and storage manufacturing sites” belonging to Gaza’s Hamas rulers, and that the IDF deployed additional troops to the region near the border with the Palestinian enclave. There were no immediate reports of injuries in the airstrikes.

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