Clashes also erupted in the evening along the Gaza-Israel border, the army said. A statement released by the IDF said dozens of Palestinians burned tires and threw explosive devices and grenades at the security fence as they attempted to approach it.
Gaza’s health ministry said two protesters were injured by Israeli fire.
Over the past week, Israeli forces have carried out repeated nightly strikes on targets linked to the Islamist group Hamas, which controls Gaza.Army says it is responding to the use of makeshift firebombs, attached to balloons and kites, which were sent to parts of southern Israel, causing thousands of farm fires and Israeli communities.
There were 19 such Palestinian attacks on Saturday, according to Israeli rescue services.
In response, the military said that “IDF fighter jets and planes hit a number of Hamas military targets in the Gaza Strip.” He said the targets hit included “a military complex and underground infrastructure” owned by Hamas.
Israel has also closed its Kerem Shalom freight passage with Gaza and reduced the area’s permitted Mediterranean coastal fishing area, in response to recent balloon launches.
Despite a 2019 truce backed by the UN, Egypt and Qatar, the two sides clash sporadically with rockets, mortar fire and incendiary balloons.
Gaza has two million people, more than half of whom live in poverty, according to the World Bank.
Hamas “is responsible for all events that take place in and emanate from the Gaza Strip, and will bear the consequences of terrorist activities against Israeli civilians,” the IDF said.
Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas official, on Saturday accused Israel of failing to honor an informal truce to ease the blockade it has imposed on Gaza since Hamas took it over in 2007.
He told Hamas al-Aqsa television that the Palestinian people of Gaza were slowly dying because of the blockade.