“On that day Hashem made a covenant with Avram, saying, “To your offspring I assign this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates:” Genesis 15:18 (The Israel Bible™)
Palestinian protesters during clashes with Israeli forces at the Gaza border. (Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
After 20 months of attacking Israel’s southern border, March of Return riots seem to be over as Hamas called off the violence for the third week in a row. This week’s riots were planned to be especially violent as it is the anniversary of the UN resolution on the establishment of the state of Israel.
The Hamas committee that organizes the riots made the announcement on Wednesday, stipulating that the cancellation was not the result of any agreement with Israel. The committee promised that the riots will continue in the future as “part of a non-violent popular struggle.”
The Hamas-run violent riots began on March 30, 2018 with rioters attempting to cross the border into Israel and claim the country as their own. The initial violence was intended to be a weekly riot lasting until Nakba Day on May 15 but continued with tens of thousands of Gazans rioting each Friday. The violence included armed infiltrations, rock-throwing, improvised explosive devices, and specialized sniper rifles designed to penetrate the ceramic vests worn by IDF soldiers. Aerial incendiary devices including balloons, kites, and drones succeeded in burning thousands of acres of farmland and nature reserves in Israel. IDF troops used non-lethal crowd control measures when the fence was challenged but were forced to resort to sniper fire when the rules-of-engagement required. Palestinian sources reported at least 110 Gazans killed by IDF fire, with Hamas claiming at least 50 as members of their military wing and Islamic Jihad claiming several others as members of their military wing.
Israeli authorities notified Gaza that fishing boats would be allowed to extend their fishing area to up to 15 nautical miles from shore. Only specific vessels were given permission to sail that far until now. 34 Palestinians, 25 of whom were identified as known terrorists, were killed in the IDF response.
Earlier this week, Qatari deputy envoy Khaled al-Hardan arrived in Gaza for a visit and announced the monthly stipends of $100 to families in need will be distributed.