Thousands riot at Gaza border, as Navy clashes with Palestinian flotilla

Rioters attack troops with grenades, bombs, rocks and burning tires; dozens of protesters said hurt; Hamas official calls for armed uprising in West Bank

Palestinian protestors in boats place their national flag on a metal structure at the maritime border with Israel

Judah Ari Gross and Times of Israel staff write, “Thousands of Palestinians were demonstrating along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel Monday, with the Hamas-run health ministry saying some 30 people were injured in riots in several locations. Protesters threw grenades, bombs and rocks and rolled burning tires toward the troops on the other side of the security fence, the army said. Thousands of rioters clashed with Israeli troops along the northern Gaza border near Zikim beach, south of Ashkelon, the military said, and some managed to sabotage and remove a part of the fence. Israeli soldiers responded with live fire in certain cases, as well as with less-lethal means, the military said.”

“Meanwhile, dozens of boats challenged the Israeli blockade and were intercepted by Israeli Navy boats. Fathi Hamad, the Hamas terror group’s former interior minister in the Strip, spoke to protesters near the flotilla and called, “To all those who hesitate, take up arms and fight Israel in the West Bank,” Channel 10 news reported. The flotilla marked 11 years since Israel imposed a blockade on the Palestinian enclave in 2007, after Hamas came to power there.”…

Hamas’s former interior minister Fathi Hamad

“Angered by the reported funneling by Qatar of aid to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, PA President Mahmoud Abbas was said on Saturday to be planning on cutting the flow of funds to the Hamas-run coastal enclave. Senior defense officials told Hadashot that Abbas was particularly frustrated with UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Nikolay Mladenov, who facilitated the transfer despite the PA president’s staunch objections. The halt of some $96 million that the PA sends monthly to the Gaza Strip could drive a desperate and cash-strapped Hamas toward conflict with Israel, security officials told the news channel. Moreover, they expressed concern that the violence could expand into the West Bank.” (more…)


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