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Hamas paying protesters to charge Gaza border, Israel reveals

More than 50 Palestinian demonstrators killed, 2,700 hurt in protests and attempts to infiltrate Israel Monday • Rather than send Hamas operatives to risk their lives at border riots, Hamas urges civilians, families to charge border for little pay.

Palestinians display a flag with a swastika in the middle during Gaza border protests in April 2018. Credit: IDF via Twitter.
Palestinians display a flag with a swastika in the middle during Gaza border protests in April 2018. Credit: IDF via Twitter.

Israel’s defense establishment revealed on Monday that intelligence gathered over the past few weeks suggests that Hamas is paying Palestinian activists in the Gaza Strip to charge the fence on the border with Israel during violent demonstrations there.

These protests have increased in intensity since they began on March 30. While the violence has generally been limited to weekends, more than 50 Palestinians died and thousands were injured on Monday alone.

The activists are paid a minuscule amount – some 50 shekels ($14) per activist or a lump sum of $100 per family – to charge the fence at the risk of being killed by Israeli snipers.  Instead of risking its own operatives, Hamas has systematically sent teenagers and children to the area.

Palestinians who managed to breach the border were apprehended and interrogated by Israel’s Shin Bet security agency. Their interrogations shed some light on the methods and tools used by Hamas’ military wing to encourage violence and terrorism at the border.

“Hamas forbids its operatives from approaching the border, fearing that they will be killed or captured by the IDF, unless the security fence is breached, in which case they must infiltrate [Israel] armed, under the cover of the masses, and carry out terrorist attacks,” the agency said in a statement.

Meanwhile Monday, Israeli intelligence agencies revealed that Iran was transferring money to Hamas expressly to fund the violence along the border.

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