Middle East

Israel military sends reinforcements to Gaza border area

The Israel Defense Forces and Israeli Security Agency have decided to send military reinforcements to the Gaza border area to “thwart terror,” the military said on Thursday as protests continue in the strip.

“The Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot & senior IDF & ISA officials decided to implement wide-scale reinforcements in the Southern Command & to continue acting to thwart terror & infiltrations from Gaza,” the IDF spokesperson’s official Twitter account said on Thursday, October 4.

The IDF Southern Command is responsible for 250 kilometers (155 miles) of Israel’s eastern border with Jordan, about 215 kilometers on the western border with Egypt, and about 65 kilometers along the border area with Gaza.

“Hamas is responsible for Gaza and all that emanates from it,” the spokesperson added.

A 15-year-old boy was the latest person to be killed in months of violence in the enclave after he was head hit with a tear gas cannister fired by soldiers near a checkpoint between Israel and the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday, AFP reported health ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qudra as saying.

Israel’s military did not comment on the killing but a spokesperson told AFP that soldiers had “fired live rounds in accordance with the rules of engagement” as protesters massed along the border.

Crossings between Gaza and Israel are also under control of the Southern Command.

The IDF said on Wednesday that two Gazans, one armed with a knife, broke through part of the fence separating the enclave from Israel. Both were arrested, the military said.

Last month two Palestinians were killed in an Israeli Air Force in southern Gaza. The IAF said the two men had planted a device next to the security fence.

At least 195 Palestinians have been killed since protests began in Gaza at the end of March, most by Israeli gunfire during the demonstrations.

An Israeli soldier was shot and killed along the Gaza border in July.

Israel says its actions are necessary to defend the border and stop infiltrations and attacks, which it accuses Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, of orchestrating.

Palestinians and rights groups say demonstrators have been shot while posing no real threat.

With reporting from AFP

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