As the Land Day demonstrations wrap up throughout the Gaza Strip, IDF spokesman Ronen Manelis attributes the relatively calm protests to an unprecedented showing of restraint by the Hamas terror group that was behind them.
Manelis says Hamas operated with “restraint unlike any other in the past year.”
He explains that hundreds of Hamas members wearing orange vests spread out between the crowd and the fence, preventing mass rushes of demonstrators toward the border.
Manelis acknowledges that some Palestinians did demonstrate violently and attempted to approach the fence, but in those cases the IDF responded accordingly.
The IDF spokesman claimed that the army’s conduct in response to last week’s rocket fire, including the air strike that hit the office building of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, also contributed to the day’s relative calm.
“These (strikes) made it clear to Hamas where (violence) would lead them,” Manelis says.