“We will not allow any violation of Israeli sovereignty or of defensive infrastructure,” the IDF stated as 30,000 Palestinians from Gaza gathered at the border in a Hamas-orchestrated offensive.
More than 30,000 Palestinians are concentrated in six locations along the Gaza-Israel border and rioting, the IDF said. The Palestinians are burning tires and throwing Molotov cocktails and stones at the border fence and at IDF forces.
Troops are responding using riot dispersal methods as well as gunfire to prevent attempts to damage Israeli security infrastructure and IDF troops.
“The IDF prepared ahead of time with a large, well-trained contingent of troops with the ability to respond to a variety of eventualities in several locales. We will not allow any violation of Israeli sovereignty or of defensive infrastructure along the border. The Hamas terror organization is endangering the residents of the Strip and using them as protective cover for terror activity. The Hamas terror organization bears full responsibility for all these events and their consequences,” the army said.
Shortly after 3 p.m., Maj.-Gen. Eyal Zamir, head of the Southern Command, said the IDF has identified “attempts to carry out terrorist attacks under cover of the demonstrations.”
Hamas also 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. “The terrorist organization Hamas is cynically using women and children by sending them toward the fence and endangering their lives,” he stated.
As of 4 p.m., the Palestinian Health Ministry said the number of dead had risen to six with over 500 injured in events so far.