Despite a ceasefire announced by Hamas on Thursday, several thousands of Gazans took part in Hamas-orchestrated riots along the Israeli-Gaza border on Friday, hurling rocks, burning tires, and sending incendiary terror-kites into Israel, The Times of Israel reported.
The army said around 5,000 people had amassed at the border, and that at least six fires had broken out in Israeli territory since the morning due to airborne arson attacks.
The terror group’s spokesman, Hazem Qassim, tweeted that rioters would continue to “break the siege” on the Gaza Strip. “Every time the Israeli killing machine attempts to break our people’s will to continue its struggle and marches, it fails to do so,” he wrote. “Today our people will head to the ‘Marches of Return’ to challenge the Israeli war machine.”
“Our Palestinian people has a long-lasting, struggling soul,” the Hamas spokesperson added. “It will continue its resistance in all of its forms until it gains its freedom, independence and right to a dignified life.”
Hamas had earlier announced that the so-called “March of Return” border riots would continue unimpeded, despite a ceasefire negotiated by Egypt, following two days that saw the heaviest exchange of Palestinian rocket fire and reprisal Israeli airstrikes since Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
The terrorist group, which exercises complete political and military control over the coastal enclave, said a ceasefire had been reached “on the basis of mutual calm” and went into effect at midnight. Israel, however, denied that a truce had been agreed, but clarified that “quiet would be met with quiet.”
There were no instances of violence reported along the border overnight.
Since the so called “March of Return” was launched by Hamas in March, there have been near-weekly, violent riots along the Israel-Gaza border organized by the terrorist group, which saw Israeli security forces facing gunfire, grenades, Molotov cocktails, and efforts to illegally infiltrate into Israel to carry out terrorist attacks. Hamas also sent women and children to the frontline to use them as human shields.
At least 160 Palestinians have been killed as a result of the rioting, and one Israeli soldier was shot dead by a Palestinian sniper. In addition to clashes at the border, southern Israel has experienced hundreds of fires caused by incendiary terror-kites and balloons flown over the border from Gaza.
[Photo: Israel’s Foreign Affairs Min. / YouTube ]