MidEast

Violence Escalates as Hamas Urges Rioters to Tear Down Border Fence with Israel

Violence near the Gaza border with Israel escalated as 50,000 Gazans participated in violent Hamas-led riots, The Times of Israel reported Monday.

The violence was driven as Hamas urged Gazans to attempt to tear down the border fence with Israel. Hamas, on Facebook, urged rioters to breach the fence in order to cross into Israel and kidnap Israelis.

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said that 52 people were killed. The IDF said that three of those killed were attempting to plant explosives at the border fence. The army also said that Israeli planes struck Hamas targets in Gaza after IDF soldiers were fired upon in two separate incidents.

Hamas, according to military sources, is trying to raise the level of violence against Israel.

A new Hamas video was broadcast on Hadashot TV, which portrayed Gazan children saying that they would be “returning to our homeland.” The news report also said that Hamas was urging Gazans to participate in the riots and assuring them that those killed would be assured of a place in paradise.

According to Israeli intelligence, Hamas gunmen stayed away from the border fence, waiting for possible breach, which would give them an opportunity to enter Israel and carry out terror attacks.

Incendiary kites also ignited a number of fires in fields inside of Israel.

The IDF said that families were offered stipends of $100, funded by Iran, to attempt to breach the border fence. Those who did not participate in the riots were threatened. “Hamas is coercing Gazans to risk their lives,” the IDF charged.

The New York Times reported, “At 5:30 p.m., shortly after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, organizers who had been urging people toward the fence all day suddenly began shooing them away, and the day’s action quickly subsided.”

[Photo: IDFSpokesperson / Twitter]