The majority of the Palestinians killed on Friday on the Gaza border were Hamas terrorists, the IDF said.
At least 10 known terrorists with track records of terrorist activity were killed while carrying out acts of terror during the violent riots along the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip on Friday, the IDF stated.
Some 15 Palestinians were killed and several hundred other were wounded, mostly from tear gas, during violent clashes along the Gaza border, in what Hamas is dubbing as “the March of Return.”
The IDF stated that “Hamas operatives camouflage[d] themselves among civilians, turning a protest from peaceful to an area of terror.”
The IDF posted an aerial photo of a two-man terror cell armed with assault rifles that approached the border fence on Friday night at the northern Gaza Strip. The two were identified and killed by IDF forces before they had a chance to commit an attack.
Earlier on Friday, roughly 20,000 Palestinians concentrated in six locations along the Gaza-Israel border on Friday in an attack against Israeli sovereignty, orchestrated by the Hamas terror organization. The demonstrators burned tires and threw Molotov cocktails and stones at the border fence and at IDF forces.
Troops responded using riot dispersal methods as well as gunfire to prevent attempts to damage Israeli security infrastructure and IDF troops. IDF snipers fired at identified terrorists committing acts of terrorism during the supposedly peaceful march.
Children Used as Human Shields
At one point, Hamas sent a seven-year-old girl to march toward the border fence. An IDF spokesman said troops made sure she returned to her parents safely. Hamas is “cynically using women and children by sending them toward the fence and endangering their lives,” he stated.
A common tactic used by Hamas against Israel is the use of human shields, causing mass casualties in order to win the PR war.
The IDF also posted a photo of a child armed with a toy gun. “‘Peaceful protesters’ wouldn’t arm their children with weapons, real or toy,” the IDF said.
“Hamas has everything to gain and Palestinian civilians have everything to lose in riots like the one that happened yesterday,” the IDF underscored.
There were far fewer violent incidents on Saturday, with a low number of Palestinian wounded in various incidents.
In a statement, Hamas said that the “Palestinian people proved that they are able to change the rules of conflict with the Zionist enemy on the ground.”
“Throughout the massive turnout in the Great March of Return, the Palestinian people sent a strong message to everyone turning a blind eye to the Palestinian rights,” the statement said.
In fact, Hamas had hoped for a turnout of some 100,000, and only a fraction of that attended the events, despite the fact the free transportation and other incentives were provided.
The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement concluded its statement by saying that the “martyrs,” those killed during the violent clashes, “sacrificed their souls for the sake of the great revolution which precedes the great return.”