Friday night, on the holy Jewish sabbath, residents of southern Israel were awakened by sirens.
The sirens were triggered both by dozens of rockets being launched at Israel from Gaza and Israeli air strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza.
Sirens sounded in the Israeli communities in the Sdot HaNegev Regional Council area, the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council area, and the Eshkol region.
The rocket attacks and air strikes come after tensions escalated on the border Friday when a Palestinian march turned into a riot. According to the Israeli Defense Forces, an IDF soldier was injured after a grenade was thrown at him by a terrorist. The rioters also threw other explosive devices, fire bombs, stones, and burned tires.
“Hamas continues to send civilians to the security fence, endangering their lives by using them as a cover for terror acts,” an IDF spokesperson tweeted. “The IDF will not allow security infrastructure to be damaged, & will operate to prevent violent rioters & terrorists from doing so.”
A 15-year-old Palestinian, Osman Rami Halas, was also shot at the Gaza border earlier in the day and later died in the hospital. The IDF defended shooting any rioters who attempt to breach the border fence.
A Palestinian activist tweeted out a video which he claims depicts the boy being shot, calling it “the moment when Israeli occupation forces shot dead 15 years old Palestinian boy Othman Helles during today’s protests.” The video shows a young boy climbing the security fence and then falling after being shot.
In recent months there have been continuous protests and riots on the Israeli-Gaza border, often times turning violent. Many incendiary kites and balloons have also been launched from Gaza with the intention of destroying Israeli farm fields.