In Bid to Fan Flames on Gaza Border, Hamas to Pay Families of Killed Rioters
Hamas announced on Thursday it would pay $3,000 to the family of anyone killed in the ongoing Gaza border riots, $500 to Palestinians critically wounded and $200 to those who sustain more minor injuries.
Meanwhile, a Palestinian was killed on the border on Thursday and another died of wounds incurred several days ago, according to Palestinian health officials, bringing the number of dead in a week of violence to 19.
The Israeli military said one of its aircraft targeted an armed terrorist near the security fence along the border.
Tens of thousands of Palestinians began a six-week-long demonstration last Friday in tent encampments along the border of Gaza, an enclave of two million people ruled by the Islamist terrorist group Hamas.
Israel says it is doing what is necessary to defend its border and prevent it from being breached.
The IDF said its troops have used live fire only against people trying to sabotage the border fence or rolling burning tires and throwing rocks.
Some of the dead were identified by Palestinian terrorist groups as members.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman described most of those killed as “terrorists …active in the armed wing of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.”
Many of the rioters who turned out for the start of the protest campaign last Friday returned to their homes and jobs over the week. But organizers expect large crowds again this Friday.
Visiting the border this week, Lieberman warned protesters “against continuing the provocation and said that “every person who comes close to the fence is endangering their lives.”
Rioters have been stocking up on tires and say they intend to burn thousands of them at the border and also use mirrors and lasers to distract Israeli sharpshooters across the frontier on Friday.
Speaking on Army Radio on Thursday, Israeli Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said: “We are prepared for every scenario, even an attempt to cause sharpshooters to lose focus.”