Dozens of people were injured in clashes between Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops and Palestinian protesters along the Israel-Gaza border and in the West Bank on Friday, August 31. IDF soldiers responded to Palestinian demonstrators rolling burning tires at Israeli troops and hurling a grenade over the border in the Gaza Strip, resulting in some 180 people injured; Gazan health officials claimed that one-third of those wounded were hit by Israeli live ammunition.
Hundreds of Palestinians in the West Bank also participated in a demonstration in Ras Karkar on Friday, denouncing Israel authorities' seizure of land in the area for the construction of new Jewish settlements. At least a dozen Palestinians were wounded after IDF soldiers fired rubber bullets and teargas at Palestinian demonstrators who were throwing rocks at the troops.
Additional Palestinian protests and associated clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli security forces are expected along the Israel-Gaza border and the West Bank in the coming weeks.
Palestinian protesters have rallied at the Gaza border fence weekly since March 30 in a Hamas-supported movement dubbed "The Great March of Return." More than 170 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier have been killed in border clashes since the protests began.
Israeli settlements in the West Bank are controversial, as they are widely regarded as illegal under international law. Left-wing elements of Israeli society and Palestinians generally regard the settlements as detrimental to any future peace process.
Individuals present in Israel and the Palestinian Territories are advised to monitor developments to the situation and to avoid all protests and demonstrations due to the risk of violence. Due to the underlying terrorist threat, travelers in Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip are advised to report any suspicious objects or behavior to the authorities. Some Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and areas near the Israeli-Lebanese, Israeli-Syrian, and Israeli-Egyptian borders.