Israeli soldiers shot and wounded three Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Friday as a number of violent incidents erupted along the border with Israel, Palestinian medics and an Israeli military source said.
The new bout of violence came three days after Palestinian militants launched a rocket from Gaza into southern Israel for the first time since the Nov. 21 truce brokered by Egypt ended eight days of cross-border air strikes and rocket attacks.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said Palestinians hurled rocks and firebombs over the fence at army patrols in several locations and that militant gunfire damaged an army vehicle, a first such incident since the truce took effect.
A military source said soldiers fired live rounds at the Palestinian attackers. None of the three wounded in the incident in the northern Gaza Strip was seriously hurt, a Palestinian medical source said.
In addition to the violence along the Israel-Gaza border, a surge of unrest in the occupied West Bank has raised fears in Israel of a new Palestinian Intifada, or uprising.
Palestinians rioted at several locations across the West Bank on Friday and Israeli troops used tear gas and rubber bullets against the rioters, the Israeli spokeswoman said.
At least one Palestinian was seriously hurt after being hit in the head by a rubber bullet, a Palestinian ambulance worker said.
The rioters have come out in support of Palestinians held in Israeli jails and to express frustration at Israel’s expansion of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Palestinians want to create a state on land captured by Israel in a 1967 war, including the West Bank. Peace talks broke down in 2010 over Palestinian objections to Israel expanding settlements on occupied land. (Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi and Ali Sawafta in Ramallah, Writing by Ori Lewis, Editing by Rosalind Russell)