Channels

Photo: EPA
Riots on Gaza border, Friday
Photo: EPA
Don't be Hamas' puppets, IDF tells Gazans
Ahead of the expected riots amid US Embassy opening in Jerusalem and Nakba Day events, Air Force drops leaflets in Gaza warning strip's residents to keep away from border fence; 'Hamas is using you to conceal its failures and is endangering you and your family members,' one of leaflets reads.
Israel Air Force planes dropped leaflets in the Gaza Strip on Monday morning ahead of the expected riots amid US Embassy opening in Jerusalem and the Nakba Day events, warning residents to keep away from the border fence, to refrain from vandalizing it or from carrying out terror attacks and not to serve as Hamas' tool.

 

 

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said in a statement that the army was prepared for any scenario: "The IDF won't allow any damage to the security infrastructure and the fence defending Israel's citizens and will act against anyone operating against Israel's security."

 

An IDF leaflet warning Gaza residents (Photo: AFP)
An IDF leaflet warning Gaza residents (Photo: AFP)

 

One of leaflets read, "To the protestors, you are taking part in violent protests that are putting your life in danger. Hamas is using you to conceal its failures and is endangering you and your family members. The IDF is prepared for any scenario and will act against any attempt to target the security fence or to threaten the forces or Israel's citizens. Hamas is using you. Don't be its puppets. Stay away from the fence and beware terror operators and violent rioters! Take care of yourselves and work to build your future!"

 

Another leaflet stated, "Hamas said it was going to improve the infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. Has that been done? Hamas said it was going to built new medical and educational centers. Has that been done? Hamas said it would take care of civil affairs. Has that been done? Hamas said that participating in protests would improve your lives. Do you think that will happen?"

 

The leaflets were signed by the IDF Headquarters.

 

Palestinians riot on Gaza border last Friday (Photo: AFP)
Palestinians riot on Gaza border last Friday (Photo: AFP)

 

The army is preparing for the arrival of dozens of Palestinians, including children, at points of friction along the Gaza border Monday. They are expected to try torch heavy equipment, target security infrastructures on the fence and kidnap IDF soldiers during the riots.

 

According to estimates, thousands of them will try to break through the security fence, which has not been crossed so far despite many attempts since the start of the "March of Return" campaign about a month and a half ago.

 

Palestinian protestors removing mound east of al-Bureij
Palestinian protestors removing mound east of al-Bureij

 

On Monday morning, Palestinian protestors began removing the mound east of al-Bureij, one of the obstacles placed on the Gaza border to prevent the Palestinians from storming the border fence.

Meanwhile, Arab newspaper Al-Akhbar reported Monday that Egypt had offered to open the Rafah Crossing regularly if Hamas stopped the "return protests." The Egyptians added that if the marches are halted, it would allow the transfer of goods through the crossing and take care of the strip's urgent needs, like electricity.

 

Hamas sources added that the Egyptians made it clear to the organization that a continuation of the protests would lead to a major military conflict with Israel, which would cause a lot of damage to Hamas and the Palestinians.

 

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh with protestors on Gaza border
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh with protestors on Gaza border

 

The Egyptians made the offer in a short meeting with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. The organization said the proposal would be presented to the rest of the organizations in the strip, but clarified: "This isn't the proposal we want. The meeting can be classified neither as a failure nor as a success."

 

According to the paper, Hamas received other proposals from UN envoy to the Middle East Nikolay Mladenov, during his recent visit to the strip, and from Qatari Ambassador Mohammed al-Emadi. Senior Hamas member Yahya Moussa said Hamas didn't receive a serious offer or a comprehensive policy from Mladenov.

 

Preparations for protests on Gaza border, Monday morning
Preparations for protests on Gaza border, Monday morning

 

In light of Hamas' preparations for the US Embassy opening in Jerusalem and the Nakba Day events, Israeli officials believe the an escalation to war on the Gaza border is very likely. According to Israeli sources, Hamas is interested in creating a crisis, so that the international community would rescue the organization from its governmental and financial distress. According to estimates, Hamas won't hesitate to send children, women and elderly people to the fence to undermine the State of Israel's legitimacy to defend itself.

 

Thousands of fighters, some from the Nahal and Givati Brigades, are reinforcing the routine security regiments in the Gaza Division and Judea and Samaria Division. The forces have been instructed to prepare for several radical scenarios, including shooting attacks or explosive devices that might be planted during the attempts to break through the fence. Another scenario is the abduction of a soldier after the fence is breached. The army is preparing for the possibility of armed Hamas members trying to infiltrate Israel together with the protestors.

 


First published: 05.14.18, 08:23
 new comment
See all talkbacks "Don't be Hamas' puppets, IDF tells Gazans "
Warning:
This will delete your current comment