Israel strikes Hamas targets in Gaza over burning kite flying

Palestinian protesters using weaponized kites

Israeli Army spokesman Avichay Adraee said the strikes were in retaliation for the launch by Palestinian activists in Gaza of incendiary kites and balloons into southern Israel.

Robert Mardini, the regional director for the Middle East at the ICRC, further said at a press conference on Monday that the "vast majority" of more than 13,000 hospitalized demonstrators had suffered severe injuries, including multiple gunshot wounds, Press TV reported.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian man died in unclear circumstances near the Israel-Gaza border on Monday.

"Israel is trying to tell the public that the kites and balloons are unsafe and cause threat to the lives of Israelis".

Israeli troops have fired on the protesters, killing more than 100 since the weekly demonstrations began in March.

According to Israeli media reports, Tel Aviv may begin carrying out assassinations from the air, including against those not actively preparing balloons or kites for launching.

The wounded caseload from the seven weeks of protest had surpassed that of the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas.

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Israel has drafted in civilian drone enthusiasts as army reservists, instructing them to fly their remote-controlled aircraft into the kites, an Israeli general said, but an effective means to stop the kites has yet to be found.

Hours later, Israeli aircraft fired warning shots toward Palestinians "who launched arson balloons". Israel says Hamas has intentionally provoked the violence, a charge Hamas denies.

The protests have called for the right of return for refugees to their lands that their families fled or were driven from during Israel's founding 70 years ago.

They also demand an end to Israel's decade-long blockade of the Gaza Strip, which has gutted the coastal enclave's economy and deprived its roughly two million inhabitants of basic commodities.

As a result of the talks, the Palestinian Red Cross has been able to dispatch aid workers in the vicinity of the fence, separating the Gaza Strip from the Israeli-held territories, to evacuate the wounded to safety.

Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade on the Strip which they say is created to prevent Hamas from importing weapons and other goods that could be used to build fortifications or cross-border tunnels.

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