Three Palestinian men reportedly killed Monday were “armed terrorists” who were trying to plant a bomb near the Gaza border fence, according to Israel’s military.
“An IDF patrol foiled a bomb-laying attack by a cell of three armed terrorists near Rafah, close to the border,” the Israeli military said Monday. “This is a particularly violent protest point. The troops responded with fire at the terrorists. The terrorists were killed.”
Some 52 Palestinians in total, including the three men, were killed in skirmishes near the security fence. Some 1,200 were wounded in the conflicts.
“Rioters are hurling pipe bombs and firebombs at IDF troops, burning tires, throwing stones and burning objects, with the intention of setting fires in Israel and hurting IDF troops,” a member of the Israeli army was quoted by The Times of Israel as saying.
The increased conflict comes after President Donald Trump announced the Israeli embassy would move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Palestinians oppose the relocation because they want Jerusalem as a future capital, according to Fox News.
Meanwhile, Israel also responded to attacks in Jabaliya with an aircraft attack on a Hamas post in the area. Then, Israel’s Defense Forces used a fighter jet to hit five other Hamas military training facilities in Gaza.
The Palestinian media is calling the protests and riots this week the “Great March of Return," while some media outlets are allegedly attempting to present the Palestinian response to the new US embassy as peaceful. The protests are part of a Hamas-led campaign to break the border blockade of territory. Since the protests began in late March, dozens of Palestinian protestors have been killed and more than 2,300 have been wounded.
“There is a prohibition for Hamas operatives to approach the border, from a fear that they will be killed or captured by IDF troops, unless the security fence falls and then they must enter, armed, into Israel under the cover of the masses and carry out terror attacks,” said Shin Bet, Israel’s security service. “From the information we have, it appears Hamas is encouraging and sending protesters to the border fence in order to carry out violent acts and damage security infrastructure.”
An Israeli military spokesman said the army has set up security near communities around the border to defend civilians if the fence is breached.
"Even if the fence is breached, we will be able to protect Israeli civilians from attempts to massacre or kidnap or kill them," he said.
Publication date: May 14, 2018