Over the weekend, the IDF fended off rioters from Gaza in the south and an attempt at armed infiltration from Syria in the North, while coping with tunnels from Hezbollah. Israelis are still reeling from a wave of deadly terrorist attacks in Samaria.
IDF troops opened fire at armed men trying to infiltrate from Syria into the Golan Heights on Sunday night. The gunmen crossed over the line that marks the beginning of a demilitarized buffer zone established as a result of the 1974 ceasefire between Israel and Syria. The IDF reported that the gunmen did not cross into Israeli territory.
The incident is especially troubling coming days after President Trump announced his intention to pull out U.S. troops from Syria and end all U.S. Airforce activity over Syria.
Also in the north, in the past few weeks the IDF uncovered four terrorist tunnels dug by Hezbollah from Lebanon into Israel in violation of UN Resolution 1701.
SANA, Syria’s official news agency, reported on Monday that the Syrian military discovered a large cache of U.S. and Israeli-made weapons and medical equipment in Quneitra province. The materiel was hidden underground dens dug by rebel fighters when they were driven from the area in recent fighting.
According to the report the arms found included anti-tank missiles, mortar launchers, rifles, machine-guns as well as a large number of protective masks, landmines, satellite broadcast devices and huge amounts of ammunition. An armored vehicle, medicine and medical equipment for surgical operations were also found.
On the southern border, Hamas and Islamic Jihad threatened revenge for the deaths of four Gazans in the violent March of Return on Friday. Approximately 8,000 Gazans challenged the security fence that protects Israel’s southern border with burning tires and stones. Explosive devices were thrown at the IDF troops but did not cross the fence. IDF troops responded with riot dispersal means including tear gas and shock grenades. Sniper fire was used against Gazans who threatened to cross the border.
In a statement released on Sunday, the military wings of Hamas announced that this Friday will be a decisive day in their battle against Israel.
“[It will be] a decisive day in examining the Zionist enemy’s behavior and intentions toward our people in the March of Return,” the statement said. “[The deaths were] a total crime and clear recklessness by the Zionist enemy [which has] crossed red lines. Regarding these crimes, the resistance will not act lightly with the enemy and stand by idly.”
Health officials in Gaza, which is run by the Hamas terror organization, claim more than 220 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the weekly March of Return border protests on March 30.
Mahmoud al-Zahar, a co-founder of Hamas and a member of its leadership, told Iran’s Al-Alam news network in Tehran on Sunday that his organization considers the riots to be successful and intends to continue.
In his interview with Al-Alam, al-Zahar further described Iran as the main supporter of Palestinians, and said Hamas does not do anything without consulting with Iran over the issue.
At a cabinet meeting on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted a connection between Hamas in Gaza and the recent wave of deadly terror attacks that struck Israel and that any agreement with Hamas would include a cessation of terror inside Israel.
“I conveyed a clear message to Hamas — we won’t accept a situation of a truce in Gaza and terror in Judea and Samaria,” Netanyahu told his cabinet.
On December 9, a Palestinian terrorist shot and wounded seven people at a bus stop near Ofra, tageting a pregnant woman. The womans child was delivered in an emergency Caesarean Section and later died. On December 13, two Israelis were killed and two more seriously wounded in a terrorist shooting near Ofra.