Gaza Health Ministry reports over 900 injuries and 25 deaths; Over 40,000 Palestinians reported at border with Israel; Hamas deploys militants and snipers; Abbas calls for emergency session of Arab League.
Over 40,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have marched on Israel’s borders in riots and violence protests, attempted terror attacks and attacks on IDF forces, the Palestinian death toll rising to 25 with over 900 injured Monday.
The demonstrations and protests coincide with Israel’s Independence Day (May 14) based on the Gregorian calendar and the Palestinian “Nakba Day”, (Day of catastrophe, disaster), alongside the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem today.
Hamas called for the Nakda Day (usually on May 15) to include today and tomorrow, calling on the civilian population in Gaza to take to the border, deploying its militants, snipers and terrorists, using the mass demonstrations to hide their militants. There have been numerous attempted breaches on the border fence, the IDF deploying its forces along the border.
Hamas head Ismail Haniyeh participated in the demonstrations on the border fence, stating “Our people will flock from the refugee camps in Lebanon to the northern border of Palestine, and our people in Jordan will also flock to the outskirts of Palestine. We’ll turn the Nakba that ended Palestine to a Nakba that ends the Zionist enterprise.”
Hamas is known for using its civilians as human shields and has been doing so for the ongoing riots and protests on Israel’s border fence for weeks.
The IDF thwarted an attempted terror attack on the border after militants placed an explosive device near the border fence which resulted in the death of three Palestinians. It also carried out strikes on a Hamas post in Jabaliya earlier today.
The IDF has instructed Israeli civilians to avoid the border with the Gaza Strip, assuring citizens that it is prepared for a “variety of scenarios”, stating Monday afternoon “The IDF is prepared for a variety of scenarios. IDF commanders are present in the field and are conducting situation assessments. The IDF will act forcefully against any terrorist activity and will operate to prevent attacks against Israelis.”
In the West Bank, numerous clashes were reported between IDF soldiers and police as Palestinians march from Ramallah to the security barrier at Qalandiyah near Jerusalem.
Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for an emergency session of the Arab League Council to address the “illegal” relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Permanent delegates to the council are scheduled to meet on Wednesday.
Photo: Palestinian protestors, Wikimedia Commons, 2018.