update deskIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Gaza border riots intensify as Palestinian terror chiefs call for intifada

Rioters set fire to tires and lobbed explosive devices at IDF soldiers; Hamas-run Health Ministry says five Palestinians were wounded.

Six Gazans were killed when an explosive device meant to target IDF soldiers detonated prematurely during mass riots along the border with Israel, Sept. 13, 2023. Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS.
Six Gazans were killed when an explosive device meant to target IDF soldiers detonated prematurely during mass riots along the border with Israel, Sept. 13, 2023. Photo by Majdi Fathi/TPS.

Hundreds of Gazans rioted on Sunday along the border with Israel, a day after the heads of Palestinian terrorist organizations called for a new intifada.

Palestinians set fire to tires and lobbed explosive devices at Israeli forces, prompting them to respond with riot dispersal methods and in some cases live fire.

Several hits were identified, according to the military. The Hamas-run Health Ministry said five Palestinians were wounded.

Last Wednesday, six Palestinians were killed in Gaza when a homemade explosive device they had been attempting to place on the security fence detonated prematurely during mass riots.

Hundreds of Palestinians participated in the riots, hurling bombs and grenades at the security barrier.

“Ultimately, terrorism ends up harming everyone involved,” tweeted the IDF in response to the incident.

On Friday, the IDF conducted a drone strike against a Hamas observation post in Gaza in response to the renewed violence.

Demonstrations have taken place regularly along the border since reports emerged late last month that Hamas had decided to restart the “Great March of Return,” which lasted from March 30, 2018, until Dec. 27, 2019.

On Saturday, the deputy chiefs of Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Saleh al-Arouri and Jamil Mazhar, respectively, called for a full-blown intifada, or terror war.

“The Palestinian Authority must return to the intifada to achieve national unity and resolve the Palestinian question on national and democratic grounds,” Israeli media cited them as saying during a meeting in Beirut.

Late last month, al-Arouri—currently based in Lebanon and Hamas’s top commander in Judea and Samaria—raised the threat of war in an interview with Al Mayadeen, a pro-Hezbollah Lebanese paper.

“The leaders of the occupation government, with their extremist policies, will cause an all-out war in the region,” said al-Arouri. “Some in the [Israeli] Cabinet are considering actions such as taking control of al-Aqsa mosque [i.e., the Temple Mount] and dividing it, along with assassinations, knowing that this would lead to a regional war. If we reach the point of an all-out confrontation, Israel will face an unprecedented defeat in its history, and we are confident of that.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted that he had heard al-Arouri’s “arrogant words,” adding that the Hamas leader “knows very well why he and his friends are in hiding places.”

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