At least 6 Palestinians killed, dozens wounded by IDF soldiers on Hamas ‘Day of Rage’

At least six Palestinians were killed and 60 injured when soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) opened fire on a crowd of protesters from Hamas and Islamic Jihad as they approached a border fence with Israel on Friday, according to Gaza medics.

The incident took place when around 200 Palestinians approached the fence in northern Gaza and began “throwing stones and rolling burning tires at Israeli forces,” an Israeli army spokesperson said, as quoted by The Times of Israel.

IDF troops then opened fire on the protesters from about 150 feet (50 meters) away, the spokesman said, adding that the soldiers remained on the Israeli side of the border.

Three of those killed were identified as 20-year-old Ahmed al-Hirbawi, from the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, as well as Abed al-Wahidi, and Hussam Dawla, Ma’an news agency reported. The Times of Israel and Quds TV reported the number of deaths as six.

The protesters were from Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, and other groups in the Gaza strip, according to Arabic-language news outlets.

Earlier in the day, Hamas’ Gaza chief, Ismail Haniyeh, called for the “strengthening of the intifada.” Friday was referred to as a “Day of Rage” by Hamas.

“Gaza will fulfill its role in the Jerusalem intifada and it is more than ready for confrontation,” he said during a sermon for weekly Muslim prayers at a mosque in Gaza City.

“We are calling for the strengthening and increasing of the intifada... the only path that will lead to liberation,” he added.

Elsewhere in the West Bank on Friday, in Hebron, at least 30 people were injured by live ammunition, rubber bullets, and asphyxiation on Friday, RT’s Paula Slier reported from Ramallah, adding that the situation in the region is “escalating almost by the hour.”

Tensions were also running high in Ramallah earlier on Friday, with confrontations between Israeli troops and protesters at a checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem. Police fired rubber bullets and tear gas canisters, with demonstrators countering with rocks, stones, and Molotov cocktails.

Quds TV reported that 83 were injured by live ammunition and rubber bullets on Friday.

The incidents follow a week of violence which has seen four Israelis killed in multiple stabbings and a drive-by shooting. Two Israelis were wounded in stabbing attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank on Friday afternoon.

One day prior, six Israelis, including an IDF soldier, were also wounded in stabbings.

Hamas leaders have praised those responsible for the recent assaults, and have urged West Bank Palestinians to carry out attacks.

On Thursday, Hamas sent its supporters enrolled at Birzeit University in Ramallah to take part in a demonstration at the IDF’s West Bank headquarters.