Thousands of Arabs rioted at the Gaza border fence Friday, with IDF forces returning fire as rioters threw firebombs and concrete blocks at them. Soldiers shot and killed one terrorist who was endangering the lives of soldiers, the army said. Several fires were reported in border areas due to balloon terror attacks, Channel 20 reported. Firefighters were able to put out the fires before they spread.
Gaza reports said that there were fewer rioters at the border Friday than in recent weeks. Hamas operatives were active in the crowd in order to ensure that things didn’t get too far out of control, as the terror group sought to fulfill its obligations in the “understandings” that led to a ceasefire after Gaza terror groups fired 700 rockets at Israel, the Gaza sources said.
As part of those understandings, Israel reportedly agreed to reopen Gaza border crossings and allow more goods into Gaza, as well as to expand the area where Gaza fisherman can trawl. The latter commitment was fulfilled by Israel Thursday night, when Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly ordered that the fishing area be expanded to 12 nautical miles. In the wake of last weekend’s tension, the fishing area was cut to 6 miles.
In an interview, top Islamic Jihad terrorist said that the round of fighting between Israel and the Gaza terror groups last weekend was just a prelude to a more serious round, which he expects will take place in the summer. And in that round, it will not be southern Israel that will be targeted – but Tel Aviv. “Our targets will now be in the large cities. We are not afraid of the Zionist enemy. During this round we defeated the occupying army, and we will do that again.”
Islamic Jihad will continue its attacks on Israel, stressing that there were a number of upcoming days in which the terror group would significantly increase its efforts. Those days include Nakba Day (May 15, the secular date marking the establishment of Israel), the date that the United States opened its embassy in Yerushalayim (May 14), and the “regular” Friday riots. “If any of our people are killed in these events we will respond as we have a right to. We will target the soldiers of the enemy, and fire rockets at Tel Aviv,” he said.
Last weekend, Gaza terrorists fired some 700 rockets at Israel; 240 of them were shot down by Iron Dome defense missiles, with the majority of the others falling in open areas. The IDF hit over 350 “high quality” targets in Gaza, the army said. Four Israelis were killed: Reb Pinchas Menachem Pshevesman, Hy”d,of Ashdod; Moshe Feder Hy”d, whose vehicle was hit by a rocket; Moshe Agadi, Hy”d, who was killed outside his house in Ashkelon; and a Bedouin community member, Zayad Alhamada, who was killed when a Hamas rocket hit an Ashkelon factory.