IDF Warns of Harsh Response if Hamas-Instigated Riots Continue

A Palestinian protester hurls stones toward Israeli soldiers during a protest near the Gaza Strip border with Israel, in eastern Gaza City, Saturday, March 31, 2018. (AP Photo/ Khalil Hamra)
AP/ Khalil Hamra

The Jerusalem Post reports: The IDF warned that it could widen its military response to the protest that Palestinians launched Friday against the Gaza border fence, that left 16 Palestinians dead and upwards of 1,400 wounded on the first day of what is billed as a sixweek event.

IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis said Hamas, which controls Gaza, was using the protests as a guise to launch attacks against Israel and ignite the area. He said violence would likely continue along the border until May 15. “We won’t let this turn into a ping-pong zone where they perpetrate a terrorist act and we respond with pinpoint action. If this continues we will have no choice but to respond inside the Gaza Strip,” Manelis told reporters in a phone briefing.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared Saturday a national day of mourning and a general strike was called across the West Bank. Thousands in Gaza marched through the streets at funerals for those killed.

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