The IDF is sending reinforcements on Wednesday to the southern border after Hamas announced they were planning another wave of riots with calls of “The Sword of Jerusalem shall not be sheathed.” This is a reference to Hamas’s name for their attack on Israel in May in which they launched more than 4,600 rockets at Israeli cities.
The IDF reinforcements include two units of special forces, an armored company and snipers, the IDF said on Tuesday.
New wave of Hamas-led violence
The Hamas threat echoes an identical call to violence made by the terrorist organization last week in which Hamas threatened that riots would be held challenging Israel’s southern border unless it was granted access to Qatari funds in cash. Riots indeed broke out on Friday despite a breakthrough in Egyptian-brokered negotiations with Hamas.
It should be noted that despite media speculation as to the motivation or cause of the violence, Hamas, the elected government in Gaza, has in its charter a pledge to destroy Israel and murder all Jews.
On Friday and Saturday, hundreds of Palestinians stormed Israel’s southern border. IDF Border Patrol (Magav) soldier Barel Hadaria Shmueli from Beer Yaakov in central Israel was shot in the head at point-blank range by a Palestinian rioter on Saturday.
In response to the massive riot at the border, the IDF used non-lethal crowd control measures including tear gas and rubber bullets. Snipers with strict rules of engagement orders used small-caliber Ruger sniper rifles to cope with direct threats to the lives of soldiers.
The Israel Defense Forces instituted certain changes in its deployment along the border including an expansion of a buffer zone between Gazan rioters and soldiers during future incidents.
In addition to Shmueli, the Hamas-run Gazan health ministry reported that 41 rioters were injured, two of them critically. Palestinian media showed videos of some rioters attempting to climb over the security barrier.
In response, the IDF carried out airstrikes against four Hamas weapons depots. The weapons depots were in close proximity to civilian structures and IDF videos show the IDF dropping small “door knock” explosives to warn residents.
Terrorists assailed southern Israel with aerial arson attacks, igniting at least nine significant wildfires on Monday. The IDF carried out airstrikes against Hamas targets in Gaza late Monday night in response to the arson attacks. The military said that it hit a Hamas weapons factory in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, the entrance to a tunnel in Jabaliya and an underground rocket launcher in Gaza City.
Last week, terrorists launched a rocket into Israel triggering sirens in Sderot and other Western Negev communities.