GAZA, March 21 (Xinhua) -- At least seven Palestinians were injured on Thursday night by Israeli artillery shelling on Rafah town in southern Gaza Strip, medics said.
Ashraf al-Qedra, spokesman of the Health Ministry in Gaza, told reporters that seven Palestinians were moderately injured by the shrapnel of the shells fired by Israeli troops stationed on the border between eastern Gaza Strip and Israel.
Palestinian security officials also said that the Israeli artillery shelling targeted a military lookout post east of the town, destroying the post and wounding seven Palestinians.
An Israeli army spokesman said in a press statement that the artillery shelling was a response to the releasing of arson balloons carrying explosives that exploded in southern Israel. No injuries were reported.
Palestinian security officials said it was the third day that the Israeli army has launched strikes on Gaza military facilities in response to arson balloons launched into Israel by the Palestinians from the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli shelling on Gaza coincided with protests of dozens of demonstrators who gathered east of Rafah close to the border with Israel as part of the March of Return aimed at breaking the Israeli siege that started on March 30 last year.
The March of Return, which calls on Israel to end 12 years of blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip, has left more than 260 Palestinians killed and about 29,000 others wounded, according to Gaza Health Ministry officials.