Friday, March 30, 2018

Israeli Tanks And Planes Bomb Hamas Sites In Gaza Strip After Gazans Fire On Troops, Abbas Says Israel Fully To Blame As Death Toll In Clashes Rises To 15

Israel hits Hamas sites with tanks, jets after Gazans fire on troops

Israeli tanks and planes bombed Hamas sites in the Gaza Strip Friday evening after troops came under fire amid intense day-long clashes on the border.
The Israel Defense Forces said it targeted three sites belonging to Hamas with tanks and from the air. There were no immediate reports of injuries from the attack, which came as the death toll in clashes along the border rose to 12, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry.
The reprisal attack came after troops were shot at by two Gazans approaching the security fence. No Israeli troops were hurt in the exchange, the IDF said.

“In response, IDF troops immediately fired according to the rules of engagement, targeting the terrorists,” the IDF said in a statement. The army would not say if the two were hit.
The IDF said troops also fired at suspects who had infiltrated into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip via the security fence. The statement did not say if the suspects were still in Israeli territory.

A picture taken on March 30, 2018 shows Palestinians fleeing as tear gas grenades begin to drop during a demonstration near the border with Israel east of Gaza City to commemorate Land Day. (AFP/Mahmud Hams)

The army earlier said troops were firing on suspects who approached the border fence out of fears they could use the chaos of Friday’s large demonstrations as cover to plant bombs or infiltrate into Israel.
A spokesperson said the shooting attack was “further proof that the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip use these violent riots in order to camouflage terror.”
“The Hamas terror organization is responsible for violent riots and everything taking place under its auspices. The IDF will not allow the security fence to be turned into an area of terror,” the spokesperson added.
The cross-border exchange capped a day that saw some 30,000 Gazans protest at several points along the security fence, as part of a so-called March of Return that is expected to last six weeks, with Gazans camping in tent cities near the security fence ahead of a larger protest planned for mid-May.
Gazan sources said at least 12 people were killed and over 1,000 more injured in the fighting. The army said protesters hurled firebombs and stones at troops and burned tires. Many of the injuries came from rubber bullets and tear gas inhalation, though the IDF used live ammunition as well.

The shooting attack, which came as the darkness fell Friday, came shortly after an army official said troops would remain deployed along the border amid fears of persistent attacks.
The official said this could include any number of things, including attempts to infiltrate the border, attacks with improvised explosive devices or rocket fire.
“We are ready for any scenario,” an official said

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Israel was “fully responsible” for deadly clashes that left at least 15 Gazans killed and over 1,000 more wounded amid violent clashes with IDF troops along the security fence Friday.
In a speech broadcast on Palestine TV, Abbas said he has asked the United Nations to immediately work toward providing protection for the “defenseless” Palestinians. “The large number of martyrs and injured in peaceful demonstrations affirms the need for the international community to intervene to provide protection for our people,” Abbas said.
Friday’s clashes marked the bloodiest day since the 2014 Gaza war, kicking off what Gaza’s Hamas rulers envision as a campaign of mass sit-ins along the border, meant to spotlight the demand of uprooted Palestinians and their descendants to return to what is now Israel.
On Friday evening, Gazan leaders called on protesters to retreat from the border area until Saturday, with the demonstration planned to extend six weeks, until the inauguration of the new US embassy in Jerusalem around May 14.
The army said it estimated some 30,000 demonstrators took part in the protests throughout Friday, with some Gazans throwing firebombs and rocks at troops and rolling burning tires toward soldiers.
The protests appeared to die down after sundown, but the army said it was remaining on high alert amid fears of persisting attacks, including infiltration attempts and rocket fire. Tanks and jets bombed Hamas sites in the early evening, after two Gazans opened fire on troops, the IDF said.
“This severe shooting attack is further proof that the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip use these violent riots in order to camouflage terror,” the IDF said in a statement, hours after a top general said terrorists were using the protests as cover for carrying out attacks.
Israeli security forces also used a drone to fire tear gas toward those along the border from overhead in one of the first uses of the device, a police spokesman said.
The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry confirmed 15 people killed during the day-long violence. Another 1,416 people were injured, including 758 from live fire, according to the ministry. The death toll included a farmer killed in early morning shelling. Palestinians said he was working his land, but Israel said troops directed tank fire toward suspicious figures on the border.

The army confirmed that soldiers had shot at “main instigators.” The military maintained that it would not allow Palestinian protesters to “violate Israel’s sovereignty” by crossing the security fence.
Abbas’s office said the Palestinian leader had decided to declare Saturday a “day of national mourning.”
Abbas instructed the Palestinian envoy to the United Nations, Riad Mansour, to “take the necessary measures to demand international protection for the Palestinians,” said a statement released by the PA president’s office in Ramallah on Friday.
The PA Ministry of Information accused Israel of targeting “peaceful” marches with live ammunition and said this was proof of the need to provide international protection for the Palestinians. The ministry praised Palestinians for heeding calls to take part in demonstrations marking the 42nd anniversary of Land Day in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar joined mass protests along the Gaza border Friday, warning Israel that it should take heed of the tens of thousands of Palestinians demonstrating for the right to “return” to Israel.
In a fiery message, Sinwar called on those “besieging” the Gaza Strip to “recalculate” their position and absorb the message emanating from the protest.
If they are hungry, the people of the Gaza Strip will “eat the livers of those besieging” the coastal enclave, Sinwar warned, using an Arabic idiom that means to take revenge on someone.

Sinwar, the head of Hamas inside the enclave, appeared at the site of the mass protests on the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel along with other Hamas leaders.
The protests, dubbed the March of Return, are expected to last for six weeks, culminating in a large demonstration in mid-May meant to coincide with the anniversary of Israel’s creation and the dedication of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
Thousands of Gazans are expected to camp in a tent city erected near the border fence for the duration, with demonstrations expected every Friday to protest for the return of Palestinian refugee and their descendants to lands now within Israel.

Over 60 Palestinians were injured in clashes with IDF troops that took place across the West Bank Friday, as Palestinians commemorated deadly fighting over 40 years ago and gathered in solidarity with the “March of Return” demonstrations being held en masse along the Gaza border.
The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that at least 27 Palestinians were injured in Land Day demonstrations held in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, and that 63 were injured in total.
An IDF spokesman referred to the scattered West Bank protests, which attracted some 900 demonstrators, as small scale.

Palestinian media reported Israeli troops firing tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators near Nablus and Ramallah.

The protests were a small fraction of much larger demonstrations on the Gaza border, where over 30,000 Palestinians massed near the security fence in what was a termed the “March of Return,” encouraged by the Hamas terror group that rules the Strip.


Gary said...

Just watched ABC 7 network news. Nothing about Israel...You would think it would've been covered?

Scott said...

I wasn't by a TV today, but several times just glancing, I saw that fox was covering it. Not sure how much