The Israeli army on Tuesday fired tear gas at Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, accusing them of breaking a truce agreement reached between Israel and the Palestinians, after two Palestinian men were injured by the gas.
Tensions between the Palestinians and Israel rose to new heights on Monday after a young Israeli woman, Nissim Shmuli, 23, was hit by live tear gas after she went to the Al-Fath Mosque in the central West Bank city of Nablus, the Israeli military said.
In the following hours, Israel launched more attacks on Gaza and on the occupied East Jerusalem, and the death toll in both areas rose to 22, according to medics.
The Israeli army said Shmudi was taken to Shaare Zedek hospital in Jerusalem, where she was later pronounced dead.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said its members and volunteers were on the streets of Gaza City on Tuesday to protest the Israeli attack, while Palestinian officials said their forces had launched an offensive in the city to halt the flow of Palestinian refugees into Israel.
The Gaza Strip is a sprawling Palestinian territory that has been under a two-year Israeli military blockade and Israel has used deadly force against Palestinian protesters, mainly by using tear gas and water cannon.
Israel’s military said the gas was used as a warning to prevent Palestinian civilians from entering Gaza and said it would take measures to stop the flow.
A senior Israeli official told The Associated Press that the gas used in the Gaza attack was an old rubber version, and that it was not an effective way to disperse protesters.
Israel has said the Palestinian attack was a provocation aimed at stirring up international criticism of the deal reached between the two sides in March.
A Palestinian protester holds a sign during a protest against the Israeli blockade in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, near occupied East Bank city Ramallah March 3, 2021.AP