Fatalities from the March 30 violence on the Israel-Gaza border identified by Israel as members of terror groups. (Israel Defense Forces)
Approximately 30,000 Arabs took part in demonstrations at the fence between Israel and Gaza on Friday after Hamas called for a mass protest under the banner of “March for Return”.
Hamas, a terrorist group which openly calls to obliterate Israel, seized control of Gaza in 2007 during a violent coup and has used the area as a base from which to fire over 20,000 rockets at Israeli towns and cities.
Despite Israel withdrawing all its soldiers and citizens from the Gaza Strip in 2005, Hamas has repeatedly sought to attack Israel and undermine its legitimacy. The latest attempt saw thousands of Gazans flock to the border in an attempt to penetrate into Israeli territory.
Although the demonstration was originally a grassroots one, Gaza-based terror group Hamas cynically hijacked it to attempt to force Israeli soldiers into a horrific moral dilemma: either accept hundreds and thousands of people breaching Israel’s sovereign border, including groups of armed terrorists who would go on to massacre civilians in nearby towns, or use significant force to repel the masses and injure seemingly innocent protesters.
Moments ago, IDF troops thwarted an infiltration attempt by three terrorists in the northern Gaza Strip. The terrorists approached the security fence and attempted to infiltrate Israeli territory. In response, IDF troops targeted the terrorists with tank fire pic.twitter.com/unGS1x79Hg
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) March 30, 2018
Despite the IDF’s resolve to hold fire and prevent bloodshed on either side, by the end of the day, sixteen people were killed during the riots. Hamas received the news coverage it wanted, allowing it to deceptively spin the situation as an Israeli “massacre” at a “peaceful demonstration.”
The Israeli Defense Forces managed to quickly expose that particular lie, sending out a detailed image on Twitter, showing that ten of the sixteen were confirmed members of terrorist groups. This was later confirmed by Hamas.
On Sunday, two of the terror group’s leaders announced that even more violent protests will soon take place:
“The Palestinians will not give up the ‘right of return’,” former Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said during a visit to Turkey. “We will not recognize the legitimacy of the occupation and we will not surrender.”
The “occupation” Mashaal speaks of is the presence of Jewish cities in internationally-recognized Israel, such as Jerusalem, Haifa, and Tel Aviv. As such, this is a code-name for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from Israel. The demand for Arabs to “return” to areas where Jews live is one no Israeli government would ever accept, as it would put all Israeli citizens in harms way.
Mashaal wasn’t done there. “In the past, the enemy was used to rockets being launched from the Gaza Strip. But this time Gaza surprised [Israel] with something new, and there’s more in stock,” threatened Mashaal.
Following Friday’s events, Kuwait called for an investigation into Israel’s response. Their statement expressed “grave concern at the situation at the border” and reiterated that he Palestinians have the right to “peaceful protest,” conveniently ignoring the sustained rock-throwing and the shooting attacks on Israeli territory. US ambassador Nikki Haley blocked the resulting UN Security Council resolution calling for investigation of Gaza border violence.
Over the last few weeks, terrorists from Gaza have infiltrated Israeli territory on at least four occasions, planting improvised explosive devices (IEDs) meant to kill Israeli soldiers, and attempting to sabotage electricity towers supplying Gaza with electricity from Israel. The IDF arrested these terrorists armed with grenades who were spotted at the gates of a nearby Israeli community.