Fourth Week of Hamas-Led Riots at Gaza Border Marked by Smaller Crowds, Swastika Kites

The fourth week of violent Hamas-led riots at the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel was marked by smaller crowds than in previous weeks and attempts to use swastika-marked kites to send molotov cocktails into Israel, The Times of Israel reported Friday. According the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry, four Gazans were killed during the rioting.

Israeli estimates of the number of Gazans rioting Friday were 3,000, which was down from 10,000 last week. The previous two weeks had seen 20,000 and 30,000 people participating in the riots.

In a meeting with the troops stationed by the border, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman praised the IDF noting, “Thanks to the IDF’s activity, week by week there is a drop in the number of participants in the riots.”

“Since the morning there have been violent riots at five sites along the border in which about 3,000 people are taking part,” an IDF statement said. “They are trying to approach the security barrier, burning tires next to it and trying to send over kites that have burning items attached.”

The army statement added: “Several kites crossed into Israel and were extinguished as needed. IDF troops are responding with riot dispersal means and live fire in accordance with the rules of engagement.”

One of the kites seen Friday was marked by a Nazi swastika. Two weeks ago during the riots, a swastika flag was flown between two Palestinian flags near the Israeli border.

The National Forum for the March of Return, one of several Palestinian groups behind the riots, said that the weekly riots will continue in order to “affirm our right to return.”
The Palestinian right of return would involve flooding the state of Israel with Palestinian refugees from 1948 as well as their descendants — overwhelming the number of Jews living there — instead of restricting the refugees to a Palestinian state. The Times observed, “Such a demand would mean the end of Israel as a majority Jewish state.”

[Photo: COGAT / Facebook ]