IDF Hopes for a Quieter Day on Gaza Border

YERUSHALAYIM -
Members of the Hamas honor guard carry the body of Palestinian terrorist scientist Fadi al-Batsh, who was assassinated in Malaysia, during a ceremony in the Rafah border crossing in the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

The IDF was preparing for another Friday of rioting by Arabs along the Gaza border fence, with the hope that the trend of a lessening presence of rioters will continue this week. Last Friday, some 10,000 rioters converged on the fence, with the IDF using anti-riot measures to keep them from breaking through, and officials believe that there may be fewer this week.

One reason for that belief is that security officials feel that some of the energy of the mob that would have been utilized in the fence riot was expended Thursday night, at the funeral of Fadi al-Batsh, the Hamas terrorist who was shot and killed under mysterious circumstances in Malaysia last weekend. Several thousand people participated in the funeral, which had originally been scheduled for Friday, but was moved up due to Islamic religious requirements.

Speaking at the funeral, Hamas’s number two in Gaza, Khalil al-Haya, said that “we blame Israel for this assassination. We say today that our accounting with the occupiers is open, and has been made bigger because of this. The day of punishment is inevitable. We will never stop holding our heads up. We will remember al-Batsh in our hearts. Israel will not succeed in erasing your knowledge and truth. We will continue in your path.”

Al-Batsh, an electrical engineer who was said to have helped Hamas with numerous projects relating to the terror group’s rocket and missile program, was shot dead by two individuals who rode past him on motorcycles on Saturday morning. Local reports said that he was hit by ten bullets. Israel has denied involvement in the elimination, with Liberman attributing it to “a settling of scores between Hamas terrorists.”