Palestinians Attack Israeli Forces With Guns and Grenades as Gaza Border Riots Continue
Violent riots continued on the Gaza border on Friday, with Israel saying terrorists attacked its forces with guns and grenades. Four Palestinians were killed in the ensuing clashes.
Organizers linked the protests to the annual “Quds Day” events in Iran, which like the Hamas terror group that rules the Gaza Strip, preaches Israel’s destruction and was incensed by the US recognition in December of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.
“There is no such state called Israel that could have a capital called Jerusalem,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said.
He stated that the Gaza demonstrations, launched on March 30, would continue until Palestinians achieve their demand for a right of return to ancestral lands lost to Israel in its 1948 War of Independence. This would flood Israel with millions of refugees, effectively turning it into an Arab state.
Israel, with US support, has described the protests as a ploy by Hamas to breach its border in order to kill and kidnap Israelis, and says its use of lethal force has been necessary to prevent that. At least 124 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli army fire, medics say. The majority have been identified as members of terror groups by the Meir Amit Intelligence Center.
On Friday the IDF said in a statement that it had repelled around 10,000 Palestinians who converged on five points of the border. Some of them threw rocks and burned tires. Simultaneously, the Tel Aviv gay pride parade drew over 250,000 people.
At one location, at least two Palestinians fired guns at an army post, while others threw grenades or used helium balloons and kites to fly explosives over the border, the army said.
There have been no Israeli casualties from the more than two months of confrontations, but Israel has lost swathes of farmland and forests on its side of the border to blazes set by coal- or fuel-laden Palestinian kites.
Emmanuel Nahshon, spokesman for Israel’s Foreign Ministry, described Gaza protesters on Twitter as “hateful morons” and “Hamas Jugend,” the latter a play on “Hitler Youth” in German.
The Palestinians killed on Friday were three adult men and a 15-year-old boy, medics said. Of 618 people wounded, 120 were from live fire, they claimed.
Hamas seized Gaza from Western-backed Palestinian authorities in 2007 and has fought three wars with Israel there. Two million Palestinians have sunk into poverty as Israel and Egypt, citing security needs, clamped down on Gaza’s borders while Hamas diverted millions of dollars into building its terrorist infrastructure in the Strip.