Palestinian terrorist group Hamas on Saturday marked the 31st anniversary of its establishment with a military-style parade near the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis.
The group showcased various weapons, such as what appeared to be rockets mounted on trucks, as well as elite unit members and snipers.
It was not clear whether the weapons on display were real and operational.
The parade was dedicated to members of the group’s military wing who exposed the activity of a special IDF unit that operated in the area one month ago.
On the night of November 11, an Israeli special forces unit operating inside Khan Younis was exposed following a search at a Hamas checkpoint, resulting in a firefight in which an Israeli lieutenant colonel was killed, along with seven Palestinian gunmen.
Saturday’s parade took place in front of the home of Nur Barakeh, the commander of Hamas’s East Khan Younis military wing, who was killed in the incident, the Ynet news site reported.
On Thursday, a Palestinian opened fire at a bus stop outside the Givat Assaf settlement outpost in the West Bank and killed Sgt. Yovel Mor Yosef, 20, and Cpl. Yosef Cohen, 19, while another soldier and civilian were wounded.
A senior Israel Defense Forces commander indicated that a Hamas terror cell was responsible for Thursday’s attack in addition to a shooting that wounded seven Israelis outside the Ofra settlement on Sunday night. That attack led to the death of a baby boy who was delivered prematurely after his mother was critically hurt in the attack.
IDF Central Command chief Maj. Gen. Nadav Padan vowed the military would hunt down the terrorists, some of whom remain on the run.
Following the latest attack, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who also serves as defense minister — beefed up troop levels across the West Bank, ordered detentions of Hamas activists and called for demolishing the homes of attackers within 48 hours.
Netanyahu has said he would “settle accounts” with the attackers, while Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas held Israel responsible for what he said was a violent environment.
Some 10,000 Palestinians flocked to the Gaza Strip border for violent protests on Friday afternoon as the IDF intensified a crackdown in the West Bank in response to the terror attacks.
The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said 16 protesters were injured in clashes with Israeli security forces along the border.
The protests were held at various locations along the border under the banner of Hamas’s ongoing “March of Return” demonstrations. According to reports, the protesters hurled rocks, Molotov cocktails, and hand grenades toward Israeli troops. According to the Ynet news site, most of the explosives did not clear the border fence, and fell inside the Strip.
The IDF said two protesters breached the border during the clashes, but quickly retreated back to the other side when IDF troops neared.
The weekly protests came after several weeks of relative calm in Gaza.