Over 35,000 Riot at Gaza Border Ahead of Embassy Opening; 25 Killed

YERUSHALAYIM -
Palestinian rioters gather during a protest against the U.S. Embassy move to Yerushalayim, at the Israel-Gaza border, Monday. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

Over 35,000 Gaza Arabs were rioting at 12 points along the Gaza border fence, the IDF said Monday afternoon, hours before the ceremony to open the U.S. Embassy in Yerushalayim was set to take place. Gaza sources said that 25 rioters had been killed, and over 500 injured in security incidents. At least five of those were terrorists who either tried to cross the border fence, or to place bombs along the fence that would be set to explode when Israeli soldiers were in the vicinity. One IDF soldier has been lightly injured in the rioting, officials said.

IDF forces on Monday afternoon fired at a Hamas outpost in the Jabalya area of Gaza, after Gaza Arab terrorists fired at Israeli soldiers from the area. The IDF said that it would respond to all attempts to harm Israeli lives, property or sovereignty.

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkott held a meeting with top brass Monday afternoon to discuss the continued handling of the riots. Israeli soldiers were meanwhile continuing to respond with ant-riot measures, mostly tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets, with live ammunition reserved for those who attempted to break through the border fence or carry out terror attacks.

A kite with the symbols of the Palestinian flag was caught by the Rapid Response Unit, Monday. (Fire Authority)

Soldiers have been instructed to ensure precision in their shooting, in order to ensure that Hamas terrorists are the ones hit, as opposed to the human shields – many of them children – who Hamas is using to carry out terror attacks. A report said that special forces had been dispatched on Monday afternoon and will patrol the Egyptian border area, out of concern that Hamas terrorists could infiltrate Sinai, and then backtrack into Israel and kidnap soldiers.

Meanwhile, Arabs were rioting at several places in Yehudah and Shomron. Hundreds of rioters at the Kalandiya checkpoint and Kever Rochel were being held back by Border Guards, who were using anti-riot measures to keep rioters from the checkpoints and ensure that traffic on the roads could flow smoothly and safely. Demonstrations by Palestinian Authority Arabs are expected to pick up later in the afternoon, as the time for the embassy opening draws near. Palestinian groups have called on Arab residents of Yerushalayim to riot and confront police and Border Guards, with the height of the rioting expected as the embassy ceremony takes place. Hamas issued a call to Yerushalayim Arab residents to “get as close to the embassy as possible,” and riot there.