Palestinians in Gaza Try to Storm Israel's Security Fence

(New York Times) Iyad Abuheweila and David M. Halbfinger - On Friday, senior Hamas leader Ismail Radwan gave a rousing speech near the border with Israel, urging Palestinians not to fear death but to welcome martyrdom. "When we are brave, we are getting closer toward martyrdom, martyrdom, martyrdom," he said. In response, hundreds of Palestinians rushed the security barrier opposite Gaza City and tried to cross into Israel. "Between 500 and 700 rioters assaulted the fence in a way that we have not seen them assault it before," said IDF spokesman Lt.-Col. Jonathan Conricus. "This is not a peaceful demonstration. There's nothing serene about this. They're trying to infiltrate into Israel, damage our infrastructure and kill Israelis." As the crowd began streaming toward the fence, a tremendous barrage of tear gas from the Israeli side did not deter many. The attack on the fence was no mere protest: Those assaulting it threw firebombs and rolled burning tires at the fence to try to melt it; at least some carried pistols, according to both the Israeli military and Palestinian witnesses. Four Palestinian protesters said they saw two men with handguns fire at Israeli soldiers and then flee. Hamas has called the protests peaceful, despite the Molotov cocktails thrown at Israeli soldiers and firebombs attached to kites that are routinely sailed over the fence, setting fires to Israeli farmland.

2018-04-30 00:00:00

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