The Palestinian journalist killed on Friday on the Israeli border was flying a drone over IDF forces, posing a clear threat, Liberman said.
Israeli Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman said that the Palestinian journalist killed on Friday on the border with Israel was flying a drone over IDF forces, and by doing so was posing a threat.
Speaking to Israel Radio on Sunday, Liberman said that “all the demonstrators near the security fence in the Gaza Strip receive salaries from Hamas.”
“Those who are trying to breach the border are members of the Hamas’ military wing,” he added.
Palestinian journalist Yasser Murtaja, 30, died from a gunshot wound he sustained while filming on the Gaza border on Friday. He was known to support Hamas.
The IDF said it fired only at “instigators” involved in attacks on soldiers and was investigating Murtaja’s death.
“The IDF uses means such as warnings, riot dispersal means, and as a last resort firing live rounds in a precise, measured way,” it said Saturday. “The IDF does not intentionally target journalists. The circumstances in which journalists were allegedly hit by IDF fire are not familiar to the IDF, and are being looked into.”
Liberman said of the killed journalist that “there are no innocent people in the Gaza Strip [border area]. There are no protesters there. Hamas has [in the past] used both journalists and ambulances to carry out terror attacks dozens of times. Whoever flies a drone over IDF forces – we will not take a chance. We warned everyone in advance. We issued warnings in Arabic, Hebrew and English. Whoever endangers his life does so knowingly.”
The European Union (EU) on Saturday issued a statement saying Friday’s violence “raises serious questions about the proportionate use of force which must be addressed.”
Liberman slammed the international community for its “hypocritical” attack on Israel.
“This weekend, hundreds of people were killed in Syria, including dozens of children and women, and I did not hear the UN secretary-general and we did not see the Security Council and the Arab League meeting,” he said. “You have to understand the environment in which we are living.”
Israel has pointed out that Hamas is exploiting the mass marches on its southern border as a cover for attacking the border fence, and has vowed to prevent a breach at all costs. The IDF said that on Friday protesters hurled several explosive devices and firebombs, using the thick plumes of smoke from burning tires as cover, and that several attempts to cross the fence were thwarted.
The majority of those killed in the border clashes were terrorists, Israel has proved.