Hamas Claims 50 Slain in Riots Were Own Members, Shoots at Israeli Home

Peaceful Palestinians? Illustrative Palestinian banner of gunmen and Dome of the Rock. By Joshua Spurlock

50 of the 62 persons killed in Monday’s violent riots against Israel were members of the Hamas terrorist organization, and the person making that claim is a spokesman for… Hamas. In a televised interview, a senior official with the group that rules the Gaza Strip said that over 80 percent of those slain in the protest were its members. IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus posted a video clip of the claim to Twitter, noting, “Take his word for it. This was no peaceful protest.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed that sentiment on Wednesday, reiterating that the rioters were not “some civilian demonstrations.” He said Israel had similar numbers to those put forth by Hamas on who was involved in the protest, while Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Ofir Gendelman tweeted that at least four others of the dead were members of other terror groups.

Said Netanyahu in comments released by his office, “This is a warlike move by the Hamas… That is why Israel will continue to defend itself for as long as necessary and will not allow those who call for its destruction to storm its borders and threaten our communities.” And the violence from Gaza returned on Wednesday, this time in the form of machine gun fire.

A house in the Israeli community of Sderot was hit by “heavy machine gun fire due to shots fired by Hamas in Gaza. A number of hits were identified on the house,” tweeted the IDF Spokesperson. Additional attacks on IDF troops from Hamas also occurred on Wednesday, said a separate Tweet. In response, Israel launched multiple strikes on against Hamas, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed.

“Hamas is solely responsible for the events transpiring in & out of Gaza, & is accountable for all terrorist activity emanating from Gaza targeting Israeli civilians & Israeli sovereignty,” tweeted the IDF Spokesperson.

The Israelis weren’t the only ones highlighting their actions as defensive.

United States Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley—in comments to the UN Security Council on Tuesday published by her office—pointed to Gaza terrorists as ones doing violent actions that are “endangering the people of Gaza.”

“I ask my colleagues here in the Security Council, who among us would accept this type of activity on your border? No one would. No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has,” said Haley.

Haley wasn’t the only one pointing out the Palestinian violence in the protests. US spokesperson Heather Nauert on Tuesday listed Hamas-encouraged violent actions taking place in the riots, including cutting the border fence, seeking to infiltrate Israel and sending flaming kites into Israel.

“[Hamas is] encouraging people to do those activities, and might I remind people that is not a safe place to go,” said Nauert in comments published by the State Department. “It is not a safe place for people to bring their children. If that were to stop, then certainly the violence would stop.”

Over on the other side of the Atlantic, a British parliamentarian had to rethink his position on Gaza when he learned who was really involved in the protests. MP Nick Boles tweeted on Wednesday, “Yesterday I criticised Israel’s handling of the protests at the Gaza border. I should not have been so quick to judge. We now learn that the 50 of those killed were Hamas terrorists. Israel had an absolute right to defend itself against such attacks.”

(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, May 16, 2018)

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