An estimated 10,000 Gazans massed on the border with Israel in ongoing violent protests named ‘March of Return’ by Hamas organizers. Protesters burned tires and Israeli flags while hurling rocks and firebombs at Israeli troops posted to prevent infiltrations. Under cover of civilian protesters, terrorists attached an explosive device to the security fence near Karni crossing where it detonated.

In another instance, a firebomb was lifted above the fence on a kite. Gazan protesters also burned posters of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, US President Donald Trump, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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An explosive device detonated while four Palestinians were transporting it to the area of a protest in a small vehicle. All four Palestinians were killed. Medics at the scene claimed the detonation was caused by an Israeli tank shell but IDF officials denied there was any strike in the area. Local residents identified the four as members of the Islamic Jihad terror group. Islamic Jihad said in a statement that the four died during “preparations”.

Support for the protests seems to be waning. The first major protest on March 30 attracted 30,000 Gazans and last week, approximately 20,000 Gazans arrived at the six sites to protest.

The IDF has responded to the violence with crowd control measures such as rubber bullets and tear gas, resorting to live-fire by snipers when rioters threatened to cross into Israel. IDF rules of engagement require a verbal warning before opening fire. 31 Palestinians have been killed in clashes with the IDF since the first protest.

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Source: Israel in the News