The Defense Ministry’s chief liaison to the Palestinians warned residents of the Gaza Strip Saturday that the Hamas terror organization was using them in its quest for violence against Israel, a day after dozens of people were hurt in border riots.
“Hamas terrorists send young people to riot at the [Gaza border]… while hiding behind them and claiming that these riots are spontaneous and peaceful,” Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories(COGAT), said on Facebook.
Mordechai pointed to photos of grenades hurled over the border fence on Friday, saying they were proof of Hamas’s lies.
#حماس_الارهابية تبعث الشباب لاثارة الشغب في #الجدار على الحدود مع #غزة وتسلحهم بالقنابل اليدوية من صناعتها وبينما تختبئ …
“Pictures of these grenades found inside Israeli land indicate the truth!” he wrote. “That is why 11 Palestinians have died and dozens of others have been injured in recent weeks.”
Since US President Donald Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, there have been violent protests every Friday in the West Bank and Gaza, although their size has diminished in recent weeks.
“This is the Hamas approach,” Mordechai said. “To hide behind and send young people to carry out violent riots… Do not open the way for Hamas to exploit you. You are the only ones who pay!”
Citing the Hamas-run Palestinian health ministry in Gaza, the Haaretz daily reported Friday that 46 Gazans were lightly or moderately wounded by live and rubber bullets. Of those, 41 were injured during clashes at a number of locations along the Gaza border. Another 105 Palestinians were said to have been injured from inhaling smoke and tear gas.
Hamas has urged Palestinians to confront soldiers at the border since the December declaration. Its leader, Ismail Haniyeh, has praised the “blessed intifada,” urged the liberation of Jerusalem, and made plain the group was seeking to intensify the violence against Israel.