At least 10 of the 16 Palestinian men killed in the ‘March of Return’ clashes at the Gaza-Israel border were members of terror groups, the IDF stated.
By: World Israel News Staff
The IDF on Saturday identified 10 of the 16 men killed in violent clashes with the IDF the previous day at the Gaza border, along with the terror organizations to which the belonged, Times of Israel reported.
The majority belonged to Hamas, including its al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigades and the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades and the Shati Battalion. Another casualty was affiliated with “global jihad,” the Times said.
The oldest identified terrorist was 35-year-old Jihad Farina, a commander in Hamas’s military wing, and the youngest was Ahmad Odeh, 19, a member of Hamas’s Shati Battalion, the army said, according to the Times.
Roughly 30,000 Gazans marched to the security fence bordering Israeli territory on Friday to participate in a “March of Return,” which in fact was a violent demonstration against the IDF, challenging Israeli sovereignty.
Hamas also sent a seven-year-old girl to march toward the border fence on Friday. 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.
“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.
On Saturday night, IDF spokesperson Maj. Keren Hajioff of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit explained in a video that the army was doing what it does every day to protect Israeli civilians.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, joined by the European Union, called for a commission of inquiry into the IDF’s response to the Hamas-orchestrated demonstrations that resulted in the deaths of the 16 “protesters.”
Israeli Ambassador Danny Danon said “the international community must not be deceived” by what he termed “a well-organized and violent terror gathering” under the banner of a peaceful march.
“The IDF soldiers pushed back the Hamas military wing with determination and professionalism, just as we expected them to do. I fully back the [soldiers], because of them we celebrated the [Passover] seder night with confidence. I do not understand the choir of hypocrites calling for a commission of inquiry. They were confused, thinking Hamas organized a Woodstock festival and we should have given [the violent protesters] flowers,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman tweeted on Saturday.