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Israeli forces confront second day of Palestinian violence

Hamas coordinated riots to coincide with the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, ordering the closure of schools and businesses, and providing free transportation for all those willing to join the riot on the border.

Palestinian rioters during clashes with Israeli forces along the border with Gaza on May 11, 2018. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.
Palestinian rioters during clashes with Israeli forces along the border with Gaza on May 11, 2018. Photo by Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90.

Israeli security forces have been in the throes of preparing for—and now grappling with—“Nakba Day,” a yearly day of Palestinian rage and rioting over the creation of Israel in 1948.

“Nakba,” or “Catastrophe” Day comes just one day after nearly 60 Gazans were shot and killed by the Israel Defense Forces as part of a massive siege on the Israeli security fence.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Monday night with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh and National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabbat to prepare for expected violence at the Gaza border and in additional locations throughout the country.

After the meeting, Netanyahu said security forces “are prepared with reinforcements for any scenario.”

On Monday, Hamas coordinated riots to coincide with the inauguration of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, ordering the closure of all schools and businesses, and providing free transportation for all those willing to join the riot on the border, which included some 40,000 Palestinians.

Though Hamas had promised more than 100,000 participants, demonstrators wrought havoc at 13 different locations, throwing Molotov cocktails, shooting at soldiers, burning tires, planting bombs, hurling rocks, flying incendiary kites and trying to cut or climb over the fence.

The IDF responded with riot-control measures in most cases but used live fire against anyone who threatened the lives of IDF soldiers or citizens in neighboring communities. The IDF also disrupted Internet and cell signals near the border in order to prevent Hamas from mobilizing more people using the technology.

“Any terror act will be met with a harsh response,” the IDF said in a statement. “Our forces are determined to defend Israel’s sovereignty and its citizens.”

Following Monday’s incident, the IDF has issued a warning that if riots and terror attempts did not cease, Hamas leaders inciting Palestinians to violence could also be targeted.

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