The Israel Defense Forces attacked a Hamas military post in the eastern Gaza Strip on Saturday evening.
An unmanned aerial vehicle carried out the strike on the terrorist group’s position, which was located next to where riots took place at the border fence earlier in the day, including shots fired at IDF soldiers.
Palestinian media reported that “Israeli warplanes” struck a target east of Gaza City, causing “significant damage” with no casualties reported.
During the rioting, “three Palestinian civilians sustained gunshot wounds, while dozens more suffocated from tear-gas inhalation,” the Palestinian Authority’s Wafa news agency claimed.
According to Israeli reports, dozens of rioters set tires on fire and detonated an explosive device at the site of the old Karni crossing cargo terminal that was demolished in 2011, located near Kibbutz Nahal Oz. The rioters also launched incendiary balloons toward Israeli border communities; no fires were observed in the area as a result.
The arson balloons sparked fires near the border fence on Friday for the first time in two years, occurring at the same time that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was delivering a speech at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. In response, the IDF attacked empty Hamas positions.
Contrary to previous reports, Ynet reported that the IDF believes that Hamas enables but is not initiating the weekslong riots, which involve 100 to 200 Gazan youths arriving at four checkpoints on the border every evening and throwing stones and explosives at the security fence and burning tires.
Israel is keeping the Erez pedestrian crossing closed until Hamas cracks down on the violence, which denies 17,000 Gazans with work permits entry to Israel. Israel is concerned that in response, Hamas will initiate rocket fire across the border.
Earlier on Saturday, protesters gathered in Gaza City’s port to stage a “flotilla” and call for an end to Israel’s blockade of the coastal enclave.
A cash infusion from Qatar is expected to be delivered on Sunday after the wealthy Gulf state earlier refused to renew its monthly $30 million aid package.
The decision to halt the payments was reportedly driven by anger at Hamas’s recent overtures to Syria and its increasing involvement in violent escalations in the Strip.
The $30 million monthly aid package was divided into three parts: $10 million for 100,000 impoverished families, $10 million for fuel for power plants, and $10 million for Hamas officials’ salaries. However, irregular disbursements in recent months have resulted in Hamas officials having to cope with significantly reduced payments.
The Qatari aid is essential for sustaining the Gaza Strip, where Hamas has resorted to imposing heavy taxes on residents to augment its financial resources.
Palestinian terrorist factions met in Beirut on Sunday to discuss coordination.
Senior officials from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine agreed on “strengthening security cooperation.” The meeting was attended by Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri, Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziad al-Nakhalah and PFLP Deputy Secretary-General Jamil Mazhar, along with other senior terrorist officials.
They discussed current developments and ways to deal with “IDF activity in the territories, on the Temple Mount and harming [security] prisoners.”