Israel to Hamas: Keep Things Calm and Cash Will Arrive

Israeli security forces guard on the Israeli side of the Gaza-Israel border, during a protest near the border, southern Gaza Strip. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

The first security test for newly installed IDF Chief of Staff Avi Kochavi will take place on Friday, as Hamas has again called for riots on the border fence.

“We heard the the messages urging Gaza residents to participate in violent riots on the border,” the IDF’s Arabic-language spokesperson, Avichai Edrei, said in a social media post Thursday aimed at Gaza residents. “We don’t want to repeat the violent events of last week at the border fence. I again urge you not to come to the border fence Friday.

“We are determined to enforce a special security zone along the border fence,” he continued, referring to an area within 300 meters of the fence that the IDF has declared a no-go zone. “Anyone who enters this area or uses terror means to attack soldiers is placing himself in grave danger. You have been warned.”

With that, Channel 20 reported, Israel has told Hamas that if Friday passes smoothly, it will allow the transfer of Qatari cash to Hamas at the beginning of next week. In the wake of a rocket attack two weeks ago on Ashkelon, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered that the $15 million in cash, supplied by Qatar to Hamas to pay its terrorists and functionaries, be held up.

The money was again held back earlier this week, after some 13,000 rioters last Friday threw stones and firebombs at Israeli soldiers along the Gaza border fence, in the biggest riot in several months. Several rioters attempted to breach the border fence, cutting through the fence and running into Israeli territory before running back after they were spotted.