Israel

IDF: Ten of the Fifteen Violent Protesters Killed on Friday Were Members of Terror Groups

At least ten of the fifteen Palestinians killed at the Gaza border during a violent march orchestrated by the Islamic terrorist organization Hamas on Friday were known members of Palestinian terrorist groups, the Times of Israel reported.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Saturday night published a list of their names and positions in the organizations. Eight of the men killed were members of Hamas, which is in complete political and military control of the Gaza Strip. One served in the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, which is affiliated with Fatah, the political party headed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and another was identified as a global jihadist activist.

Earlier that day, Hamas publicly acknowledged that five members of its Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, were among the fatalities and were hiding among the civilian population, using them as human shields – a war crime under international law.

The military said that at least one of the Hamas members, Sari Abu Odeh, was a member of the terror group’s elite Nukhba force and that another, Muhammad Abu Amro, served in its tunnel operations. The IDF also identified Mussa’b al-Saloul as one of the two Hamas members who shot at Israeli soldiers on Friday evening and attempted to breach the security fence before he was killed.

On Friday, some 30,000 Palestinians took part in the Hamas-led “March of Return” demonstrations along the Gaza border, focused at six main protest sites, where rioters threw firebombs and stones at troops, tried to bomb and breach the security fence, burned tires, and in one case opened fire at Israeli soldiers.

The IDF said that its sharpshooters targeted only protesters taking explicit violent action against Israeli troops and those trying to damage or breach the security fence.

The army further charged that Hamas was deliberately putting civilians at risk to exploit any casualties as propaganda against the Jewish State. The army cited the case of a seven-year-old girl, who was pushed towards the fence in an apparent attempt to draw Israeli fire. The army spotted the child and returned her unharmed.

IDF spokesman Ronen Manelis said the IDF faced “a violent, terrorist demonstration at six points” along the fence. He said the IDF used “pinpoint fire” wherever there were attempts to breach or damage the security fence. “All the fatalities were aged 18-30, several of the fatalities were known to us, and at least two of them were members of Hamas commando forces,” he said.

The IDF said it was remaining on high alert.

[Photo: Israel’s Foreign Affairs Min. / YouTube]