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December 24, 2018 10:55 am

Report: Egypt Steps In to Curb Gaza Border Violence

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Palestinian rioters on the Israel-Gaza Strip border, Oct. 12, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Ibraheem Abu Mustafa.

JNS.org – Egypt is taking steps to prevent another security ‎escalation on the Israel-Gaza Strip border following ‎last week’s violent demonstrations, Lebanon’s ‎al-Akhbar newspaper ‏reported Monday.‎

Hamas and other terrorist groups in the Gaza ‎‎Strip threatened on Sunday to “test” Israel, hinting at potential aggression this Friday at the weekly border demonstration.

Hamas has been orchestrating weekly border protests, dubbed the March of Return, ‎‎since late March. Many have turned into riots, and the Palestinians say over 150 people have been ‎killed and at least 10,000 have been injured since the demonstrations began.‎

On Friday, 8,000 Palestinians took part in the weekly protest. Although most demonstrators kept their distance from the border, several did clash with Israeli ‎security ‎forces. Gaza’s Health Ministry said four ‎Palestinians were killed and 25 others ‎were wounded. ‎

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The IDF said the protesters burned tires and hurled ‎‎stones and explosive devices at the troops, who ‎‎responded with crowd control measures and sporadic ‎‎live fire. ‎

‎Hamas, Islamic Jihad and several other terrorist factions in ‎‎Gaza issued a joint statement Sunday saying, “The cowardly Zionist enemy has committed another ‎‎crime against our people.

“Last Friday, enemy snipers shot unarmed ‎‎demonstrators on the border, murdering four and ‎‎injuring dozens. All the shahids [martyrs] were shot ‎‎from a distance of 300 to 600 meters [985 to 1,970 feet] ‎‎from the border fence, confirming that the Zionist ‎‎snipers deliberately fired at the shahids‎ and the ‎‎wounded, even though they posed no threat to the ‎‎occupation’s soldiers.

‎”The criminal acts of the Zionist occupation ‎‎against our people have crossed the line and the ‎‎resistance will not stand idly by. Next Friday will ‎‎be a decisive day and we will test the intentions ‎‎and conduct of the Zionist enemy,” the statement said.

According to al-Akhbar’s report, Egyptian ‎intelligence officials have asked the Palestinian ‎groups to provide them with proof that the IDF ‎indeed targeted protesters who did not pose a threat ‎to Israeli troops. ‎

Cairo has relayed an Israeli message to Hamas saying ‎Israel has no interest in a security escalation, and ‎that it remains committed to recent understandings that have resulted in a dramatic decline in the border violence.

The understandings were reached following a flare-up in November – the worst clash between Israeli forces and Hamas since 2014.‎

Egyptian defense officials were expected to meet ‎with Hamas officials in Gaza on Monday.‎

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