Israel Will Respond “Inside Gaza Strip” If “Organized Terrorist Operations” Continue

Saturday, March 31, 2018
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Sat, 03/31/2018

As Israel inches ever-closer to an all-out war against Hezbollah in Syria (a war that could expand to encompass southern Lebanon), the IDF this week also mercilessly crushed yet another massive Hamas-organized border protest in Gaza, deploying drones to shower thousands of demonstrators with tear gas while firing live rounds and rubber-coated steel pellets into the crowd. By the time yesterday’s border clashes had ended, at least 15 Palestinians were dead and over 500 were wounded.

Of course, a spokesman for the IDF – a Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis – denied allegations of excessive use of force. He said the men killed by the IDF belonged to a violent, militant faction of Hamas, and that several dozen people – at most – were injured by live fire while the rest were merely impacted by the tear gas and other crowd-control responses. Gaza’s Shifa Hospital received 284 injured people Friday – most of them with bullet wounds. Of those, 70 were under the age of 18. And 11 were women, per the Associated Press.

Already Saturday, several hundred people returned to the five makeshift tent encampments several hundred meters from the border; the encampments were meant to be a launch point for the marches. But if demonstrators try to rush the border fence again, Manelis said Israel would have no choice but to “expand” its response beyond the border area – echoing the extremely deadly assault unleashed on Gaza City during the summer of 2014. That episode left nearly 2,000 Palestinians dead. Of those, nearly 500 were civilians, per AP.

He said that Hamas and other Gaza militant groups are using protests as a cover for staging attacks. If violence continues, “we will not be able to continue limiting our activity to the fence area and will act against these terror organizations in other places too,” he said.

Indeed, just like during the runup to the IDF’s Operation Protective Edge, the IDF labeled Palestinians efforts to “breach” the border fence “organized terrorist operations.”

Sure enough, on Saturday Israeli troops fired warning shots toward Palestinian youths gathered at the Gaza-Israel border on Saturday, wounding 13 people, health officials said according to Reuters.

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