The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed at least two Palestinians and wounded some 300 others in protests along the Israel-Gaza border on Friday, August 10. Some 10,000 Palestinians protested along the border, with some setting tires on fire and throwing stones, explosives, and incendiary devices at IDF troops who, in turn, responded with tear gas and live fire. Israeli forces also shelled suspected Hamas positions near the border.
Continuing protests are expected along the Israel-Gaza border in the coming weeks.
Weekly demonstrations have been held at the Gazan border with Israel since March 30. The weekly protests are part of a "Great March of Return" movement that aims to assert the Palestinian claim of the "right to return" to pre-1948 lands, which Israel rejects. Gazans are also protesting the Israeli land and sea blockade of the Gaza Strip and the recent US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Israeli officials have accused Hamas of using the protests as cover for assaults on the border fence or as distractions to launch land or rocket attacks on Israeli positions. The violence this year has been the most intense since the 2014 Gaza War, with 159 Palestinians killed and over 16,000 wounded along with one IDF soldier killed and several Israeli soldiers and civilians wounded.
Individuals present in Israel and the Palestinian Territories are advised to avoid all protests or other public gatherings due to the high risk of violence and to monitor developments to the situation. Due to the underlying terrorist threat, travelers in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip are advised to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities. Some Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and areas near the Israeli-Lebanese, Israeli-Syrian, and Israeli-Egyptian borders.
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