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Summaries of several articles re: the Gaza clashes from Daily Alert, with links

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Apr. 2, 2018

Israel Says It Will Expand Response If Gaza Clashes Go On, Brands Those Killed as Terrorists – Noga Tanopolsky

A day after clashes with Israeli soldiers at the Israel-Gaza border left 16 Palestinians dead, IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis said Saturday that the protest – billed as nonviolent – was “not a nonviolent protest. It was an organized, Hamas act of terror using civilians as a cover.”

“I don’t know why people call this a protest. It’s terror,” Manelis said. “Hundreds of terrorists used the demonstration as cover to perpetrate violent acts….If this continues, we will have no choice but to respond inside Gaza against terrorist targets.” Israel said all of those killed were engaged in violence against its soldiers and released videos showing Palestinian snipers shooting at soldiers.

    Manelis said that Israel had identified at least four explosives left alongside the border fence by “terrorists using the demonstration as camouflage.” He said the military acted with restraint and knew “exactly” who its sharpshooters targeted. (Los Angeles Times)

The IDF’s Arabic-language spokesman posted a photo Friday of a Palestinian protester who was shot by the Gaza border by the IDF while holding a weapon.
“Didn’t you say the march today was going to be non-violent and without weapons? Who are you trying to fool?” Maj. Avichay Adraee wrote in Arabic on his Twitter page.
Israel Says It Only Shot at Protesters Charging Gaza Border

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday that those Palestinians who protested peacefully were not harmed, and he rejected accusations of excessive use of force on Friday. Lieberman said troops acted appropriately by only firing on protesters who charged toward Gaza’s border with Israel.

    Israel says thousands of Palestinians approached the border, with hundreds engaged in acts of violence. Israel has identified and named 10 of the dead as militants from Hamas and other groups. (AP-New York Times)

IDF Exchanges Fire with Palestinian Terrorists in Gaza (Jerusalem Post)

Two Palestinian terrorists opened fire on IDF forces near the border fence at Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza on Friday.
The forces returned fire and the two were killed.
The IDF spokesperson said this was further evidence that Hamas was using the protests to carry out terrorist attacks.
See also IDF Shows Weapons Found after Friday Attack from Gaza – Hagay Hacohen (Jerusalem Post)
The IDF Spokesperson’s Office on Saturday released images of the weapons found near the Gaza border fence after two terrorists tried to attack IDF positions.
IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis described as “nonsense” claims by Gaza health officials that 800 Palestinians were injured by live fire, saying the number of live fire injuries was more likely in the dozens, with the rest hit by rubber bullets or tear gas. (New York Times)

Israel’s Defense Minister: 90 Percent of Palestinian Protesters Were Paid Hamas Activists and Their Families

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned Sunday that Israel would act with a far stronger hand if Palestinians in Gaza resumed violent protests on the border with Israel. He claimed that 90% of the Palestinian protesters were officials and activists paid by Hamas, together with their families. Lieberman also pledged that there would be no international inquiry into the clashes.

    The defense minister praised the army for having “carried out its work in the best possible way” and that “no soldiers were hurt.” He said the army “can respond much more harshly next time” and that it would not “hesitate to use everything we have,” though he expressed doubt that the Palestinians would seek to replicate Friday’s events “in light of the results.” “Any state whose borders people tried to crash would act in an even more severe way than we did,” he added. (Times of Israel)
 

Hamas’ Tactics Use Civilians as a Human Shield – Oded Granot

Meticulous planning went into organizing the March of Return along the Gaza border fence. About 250 buses brought 30,000 people to the border area. Some are relatives of Hamas operatives and public officials. Not everyone participated willingly. Some were forced.

    This was no peaceful, popular demonstration, as the organizers promised it would be. Attempts were made to vandalize the border fence, and the demonstrators were used as cover for an attempted attack against IDF forces. In this sense, Hamas’ tactics didn’t differ much from the 2014 Gaza war, in which it located terrorist headquarters and weapons caches in civilian homes and civilians were forced to serve as human shields. (Israel Hayom)

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