Israeli Defense Minister: Further Palestinian Riots on Gaza Border Will Be Met With Similar Force
Israel‘s defense minister warned on Tuesday that further Palestinian riots on the Gaza border would be met with similar force to that used by the IDF last Friday.
Some 16 Palestinians — a majority of them affiliated with terrorist groups — were killed in Friday’s violence.
“I warn against continuing the provocation,” Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said during a visit to border on Tuesday. “We have set clear game rules and we do not intend to change them. Every person who comes close to the fence is endangering their lives.”
“This was a well-organized provocation by Hamas’s armed wing in an attempt to harm our sovereignty, to disrupt daily life and to disturb Israelis on their Seder (traditional Passover meal) night,” he continued. “We are doing what we must do.”
The IDF said its troops used live fire only against people trying to sabotage the fence or rolling burning tires and throwing rocks.
Lieberman characterized most of those killed last week as “terrorists that we know well who are active in the armed wing of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. They were not innocent civilians who were part of a civil protest.”
In Gaza, rioters have begun gathering thousands of mirrors which they hope to use to blind Israeli soldiers on the other side of the fence. They say they also intend to use laser pointers to distract IDF sharpshooters.
Palestinian riot organizers said they expect the number of participants to again swell to tens of thousands this coming Friday.