Gaza Arabs continued their late-night rioting Wednesday night, Motzoei Yom Kippur, throwing rocks and firebombs at IDF soldiers. Soldiers responded with antiriot tactics. According to Gaza sources, a 15 -year-old rioter who was injured by IDF fire later died of his wounds.
Gaza Arabs also rioted Tuesday night and Wednesday, with at least two dozen attempting to breach the border fence on Yom Kippur itself. Gaza sources said two rioters were killed and at least 46 injured in the rioting.
The IDF had no comment about any of the incidents, beyond issuing a statement after Yom Kippur that there had been several incidents of unrest over the holiday.
After the closure of Gaza crossings over the past two days due to Yom Kippur, the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings will be open Thursday. Some 500 trucks carrying many kinds of goods are scheduled to pass through the crossings, despite the uptick in security incidents at the crossings and along the Gaza border in recent days.
Israeli officials are concerned that a new, more violent situation is developing in Gaza. In recent weeks, as third-party negotiators tried to hammer out a deal on a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the number of rioters at the border – in other words, the number that Hamas recruited to throw rocks and firebombs at Israeli soldiers – had dropped significantly, but on Friday, some 14,000 rioters were at the border, indicating that Hamas had given a green light for more aggressive action against Israel.
The indirect talks between Israel and Hamas sponsored by Egypt and U.N. officials, which had been conducted in earnest until several weeks ago but were halted for a week for a Muslim festival, have not restarted. With diplomatic activity ceasing, Israeli officials believe that Hamas will reopen the door to terror attacks, and probably rocket attacks, in order to show its relevance to Gazans and to the PA.
On Sunday Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that if Hamas wants to act more aggressively, Israel will have to do so as well. Speaking to Army Radio, Erdan said that “if Hamas acts violently, we will have to return to targeted killings of Hamas leaders. It is good that the IDF has been attacking terrorists and Hamas positions, and it should continue to do so.”