War Outside the Temple Walls is Inevitable (Revelation 11)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaks during a press conference in Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. Netanyahu vowed Tuesday to begin annexing West Bank settlements if he wins national elections next week. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Israeli PM: Rocket attacks make new war in Gaza inevitable

September 12, 2019, 7:47 AM MDT

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that continued rocket fire from Gaza is making another war against Palestinian militants in the coastal strip inevitable, his latest headline-grabbing announcement just days before he seeks re-election.

Netanyahu said advanced plans were in place to strike Gaza and that he would decide the optimal timing of the offensive, given the unwillingness of Gaza’s Hamas rulers to stop the daily barrages.

The recent attacks have caused no casualties. The Israeli military has responded with limited strikes against Hamas installations that have caused no casualties and little damage, and has refrained from risking a larger conflagration as Israelis prepare to head to the polls.

The Israeli leader has been criticized for failing to respond harshly to the rockets, which have sent residents of southern Israel racing for cover. Netanyahu, who counts on the working-class, Gaza border towns as part of his electoral base, was himself whisked away by bodyguards from a campaign event on Tuesday when Palestinian militants fired rockets toward the area.

Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and Hamas militants seized power two years later. Israel and Hamas have fought three wars and engaged in several other rounds of violence over the past decade.

“I do not wage war unless it is a last resort and I don’t risk the lives of our soldiers and citizens just to get applause,” Netanyahu said in an interview with Kan Reshet Bet Radio. “We will probably have no choice but to set out on a big campaign, a war against the terror forces in Gaza.”

“I won’t start it one minute before we are ready, and we are preparing for a ‘different war’,” he added, shortly before flying to Russia for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

It was Netanyahu’s first major interview with a mainstream media outlet in a frenetic campaign in which he has been dictating the agenda with a dizzying array of maneuvers.

Just this week, he alleged fraud in Arab voting areas, without providing any evidence, and pushed for legislation to place cameras in polling stations on election day. He also claimed to have located a previously unknown Iranian nuclear weapons facility and vowed to annex the heart of the West Bank if he wins re-election.

His pledge to extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley sparked international condemnation. Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the U.N. secretary-general, said it would be a “serious violation of international law.”

Jordan, one of only two Arab states to have reached a peace agreement with Israel, condemned Netanyahu’s “catastrophic” announcement.

“It will not only undermine the two-state solution, which the whole world sees as the only path toward resolving this conflict, but it will kill the whole peace process,” Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi said.

Saudi Arabia, a regional power that has grown closer to Israel in recent years, also condemned the move.

Netanyahu said it was important to act now as President Donald Trump prepares to unveil his Mideast peace plan after the elections next Tuesday in Israel. The move was widely viewed in Israel as Netanyahu’s latest stunt to draw in right-wing voters in a hard-fought campaign.

In a statement issued Wednesday evening, the Russian Foreign Ministry said it took note of Netanyahu’s announcement and the “highly negative reaction in the Arab world.” It said it would share its concerns with Israel since “implementation could trigger a sharp escalation in the region and undermine hopes for establishing a lasting peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors.”

Prior to his departure to Sochi, Netanyahu said the focus of his talks with Putin would be to promote the “joint goal” of removing Iranian forces from neighboring Syria. Netanyahu and Putin have met regularly in recent years to coordinate military activities in Syria.

Netanyahu has for years argued for aggressively countering Iran’s nuclear program and its regional activities, and often takes pride in having a strong working relationship with both Putin and Trump.

However, Netanyahu’s clout in Washington appeared to take a hit this week with the firing of one of his like-minded allies in the administration, National Security Adviser John Bolton, amid reports that Trump was considering meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and easing sanctions against Iran.

In his radio interview, Netanyahu defended his record.

“Where did this strong sanctions policy against Iran come from if not from the struggle that I led? Indeed, I have had influence on Trump,” he said. “You can’t tell the president of the United States with whom he should meet, but there is not one person who has influenced more, and continues to influence, the aggressive stance against Iran than me, and everyone knows that.”

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Palestinians vow to keep Jordan Valley land

(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HASSAN AL ABEDI, 55 YEAR-OLD PALESTINIAN, SAYING: “We tell Netanyahu, and whoever follows him, you will not break the Palestinians’ will, you will never break our will, never, never.” Palestinians tilling the land of the fertile Jordan valley as their fathers and grandfathers did, say they will hold on to it at all costs. Despite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledges to annex the land if he wins reelection next week. The right-winger says he’ll, quote, “apply Israeli sovereignty” to the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea. Formally annexing the Jordan Valley would mean that any future Palestinian state would be encircled by Israel. Ismael Hassan says the land is not Netanyahu’s in the first place. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ISMAEL HASSAN, 75-YEAR OLD PALESTINIAN, SAYING: “We don’t accept this whether he (Netanyahu) will succeed or not, we don’t accept, this is our land, not Netanyahu’s land. This land is for Palestine, for the Palestinians, not for Israel.” About 50-60,000 Palestinians live in the area, including its main town Jericho, as well as about 13,000 Israeli settlers. The Palestinians call the fertile valley their “breadbasket.” Netanyahu says the annexation will boost Israel’s security, and he’s counting on help from a friendly U.S. administration under Donald Trump. Which has already broken with decades of policy to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. But Palestinians, Arab leaders and the United Nations say Netanyahu’s plan would represent a serious violation of international law.

Israel Strikes Back Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

IDF strike in Gaza, March, 2019. Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Israel Strikes 15 Hamas Targets in Response to Gaza Rocket Attack, Army Says

Israeli army says strikes were in retaliation for rocket fire earlier that targeted cities in southern Israel, which prompted Netanyahu to get off stage at a campaign rally mid-speech

Jack KhouryAlmog Ben ZikriYaniv Kubovich

11.09.2019 | 11:00

Israel struck some 15 Hamas targets in the northern and central Gaza Strip overnight Tuesday in response to rockets that were fired from the coastal enclave earlier that night, the Israeli military said.

The sites targeted in the airstrike include Hamas military infrastructure used for weapons manufacturing, several targets in a military compound of Hamas’ naval force and a an attack tunnel intended to be used for terror attacks, the Israeli army said in a statement.

The Israeli army noted that its strikes were carried out in retaliation for two rockets that were launched from the Strip toward the southern Israeli cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod on Tuesday. The rockets were fired while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was addressing crowds at a campaign rally in Ashdod, and had to be taken off the stage mid-speech.

Netanyahu evacuated after Gaza rocket alert sirens ring out during a campaign event in Ashdod, September 10, 2019

Prior to the Israeli strike in Gaza, Netanyahu held security consultations with senior defense establishment officials.

This is the latest escalation in developing tensions on Israel’s border with both Gaza and Lebanon, as the country enters the final week of its redux election campaign.

Palestinian sources said Tuesday night that Israel had carried out several airstrikes near the city of Deir al Balah in central Gaza, in addition to striking in the northern Strip.

Hamas’ military wing reported that an Israeli drone had been downed in the night between Monday and Tuesday in the coastal enclave. The movement had managed to access information regarding the unmanned aircraft mission, Hamas said. The IDF later confirmed the drone had fallen in Gaza.

PM Netanyahu leaves a campaign event after rocket alert sirens ring out, Ashdod, September 10, 2019

On Sunday, a projectile was fired from Gaza but failed to reach Israel, landing inside the Strip. This came one day after the IDF said it carried out several airstrikes in Gaza, including on a Hamas naval base and two complexes of the organization’s aerial command.

According to the IDF, the strikes were in response to a drone attack earlier on Saturday, in which a Gaza drone entered Israeli airspace and dropped explosives on a military vehicle by the border fence.

A few hours earlier on Saturday, an Israeli military aircraft fired at what it identified as the Gaza cell that launched the drone attack.

On Friday night, Israel struck several Hamas targets in Gaza after five rockets were launched from the Strip overnight Friday, targeting Hamas military positions near the Israeli border with aircraft and tank fire. The fire was an apparent response to the death of two Palestinian teenagers killed by Israeli fire during weekly March of Return border protests.

There have also been continuing tensions between Hezbollah and Israel along the Israel-Lebanon border, after an Israeli drone attack on a Hezbollah site in a Beirut suburb – although both sides have until now managed to prevent an escalation.

Israel Strikes Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

IDF hits weapons manufacturing facility, Hamas naval compound and terror tunnels after terrorists fire rockets at Ashdod, where PM Netanyahu had been addressing Likud campaign rally.

Israeli aircraft struck in Gaza on Wednesday hours after rockets from the Palestinian enclave triggered sirens that forced Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu off the stage at an election rally in Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces said that 15 targets were hit, including a weapons manufacturing facility, a naval compound used by terrorists and Hamas terror tunnels.

An eyewitness reported seeing a large blast in the area of Deir al-Balah in central Gaza, as well as additional attacks on the southern and northern parts of the enclave.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Hours earlier, bodyguards rushed Netanyahu to shelter in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod when the sirens sounded during a Tuesday evening rally, a week ahead of a general election.

Netanyahu was unhurt and several minutes later he continued his speech, which was broadcast live on social media by his right-wing Likud party.

The Israeli military said two rockets had been fired from the Gaza Strip toward Ashdod and another port city, Ashkelon, just to the south, and were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

It said Wednesday’s strikes in Gaza came in response to the rocket launches.

Hamas officials, in a message to Israel through an Egyptian emissary, said the organization was not behind the rocket fire. However, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit issued a statement saying the Israeli military would “continue to act against attempts to harm Israel’s citizens, and holds the Hamas terrorist organization responsible for what transpires in the Gaza Strip.”

Tuesday’s rocket attack interrupted a Likud campaign rally shortly after Netanyahu announced a plan to annex the Jordan Valley if re-elected in the national ballot on Sept. 17.

After being taken away by security guards, Netanyahu returned minutes later and continued addressing the crowd.

No injuries were reported. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket launches.

The Israeli military said it was investigating.

The IDF remains on high alert over concerns there will be those who, with one week remaining to Israel’s election, will try to stir tensions on the country’s southern front.

The Israel Police, meanwhile, has bolstered its presence in the country’s south following the rocket fire in an effort to assuage the public.

“We are prepared for any scenario,” the Israel Police said in a statement.

The Nations Trample Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Members of the Jihad Islamic attend the funeral of 42-year-old Palestinian Mu’in al-Attar, who was killed in an internal explosion at an Islamic Jihad site in Gaza on Sept. 8, 2019. Photo by Hassan Jedi/Flash90.

Prompted by Iran, Palestinian Islamic Jihad plays lead role in Gaza escalation – JNS.org

(September 9, 2019 / JNS)

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the second-largest armed terror faction in Gaza, has in recent days taken a lead role in the latest escalation with Israel. PIJ, which is funded and orchestrated by Iran, has an interest in inflaming the security situation and  destabilizing the region.

Unlike Hamas, PIJ has no responsibility for Gaza’s estimated 2 million people.

PIJ is challenging Hamas, which for the most part is not interested in an escalation or full-out war with Israel at this time, and is instead interested in reaching an arrangement to prevent an economic collapse of the Gaza Strip and avoid the risk of a popular rebellion against its Islamist militant regime.

It is therefore safe to assume that PIJ fired five rockets into southern Israel on Friday night, narrowly missing an Israeli family fleeing into a safe room in Sderot.

In retaliation, the Israel Air Force struck Hamas military targets in northern Gaza as part of Israel’s policy of holding Gaza’s ruling entity responsible for what occurs in its territory.

It also seems safe to assume that PIJ is the organization behind the armed drone attack on an IDF Humvee vehicle on Saturday, which caused light damage, but no injuries..

The drone dropped an explosive device on the border before flying back into Gaza. In response, the IAF targeted the squad, though apparently did not hit it. Later on Saturday, the IAF hit Hamas military targets, including naval attack bases, and Hamas’s “aerial array” (a reference to its drone program) in northern and central Gaza.

The latest escalation comes after some 6,200 Gazan rioters descended on the Israeli-Gazan border fence on Friday afternoon. They hurled explosive devices, grenades and firebombs at security forces. The IDF described that event as “especially violent,” adding that security fence sustained damage in several locations. Two Gazan youths were killed in Israeli fire, as the Israel Defense Forces sought to prevent any intrusions that would endanger southern villages and towns.

In the meantime, Israeli-government officials issued warnings about what would happen if the current violence continues. “The next round will be a general [broad conflict] round, and we are trying to prevent it. In this [next] round, the top terrorist leadership will be destroyed,” vowed Foreign Minister Israel Katz, as told to Kan Radio. “Hamas and PIJ are bringing their end closer, by linking up to Iran and [Quds Force commander Qassem] Soleimani, and by turning into an Iranian tool.” His statement comes as many southern Israeli civilians have expressed despair over the ongoing war of attrition that Gazan terrorists have been subjecting them to for more than 18 months.

PIJ has attempted to cover up the fact that it is doing Iran’s bidding in the region and denies placing Gazans at risk on behalf of a foreign, radical power.

Khader Habib, a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad official, stated in an interview to the Palestinian news website Donia al-Watan on Aug. 27 that his organization “does not take orders from Iran, but only support and makes decision independently,” according a report by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center. Habib was responding to accusations from Israel last month that pointed fingers to his organization for firing rockets from Gaza on Aug. 25, as part PIJ’s response to Israeli airstrikes on Iranian targets in Syria.

Such denials are hollow, and are designed to alleviate pressure from Gazans and Hamas.

However, some observers in Israel also believe that even if Hamas isn’t directly behind the latest attacks, it’s not very motivated to stop them either.

A rise in ‘controlled violence’

Col. (ret.) Reuven Erlich, director of the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, told JNS on Sunday that although Hamas did not take a decision to escalate things into war, “it is not trying its best” to stop border attacks.

August saw four attempts by armed terror squads—none of them officially affiliated with any organizations—to infiltrate Israel, before being stopped by the IDF. Several members of the squad were killed in firefights and IDF strikes.

As for the ITIC’s assessment, it noted that at the present time, Hamas is not overly motivated to carry out effective measures to prevent the attempted penetrations because they are popular among the public. Moreover, Hamas considers them as a tool for exerting pressure for the lull ceasefire agreement.

We call this controlled violence. It rises and falls. We’re seeing a rise now,” said Erlich. “Clearly, this is brinkmanship that can lead to a deterioration.”

Hamas hasn’t stopped contacts with Egypt, which is acting as an intermediary in seeking an arrangement, he explained, “but it is playing a dangerous game and not trying to prevent what others are doing.”

“Iran and the PIJ have a different agenda from Hamas—we’ve seen this in the past. Yet Hamas knows how to confront PIJ when it wants to. After ‘Operation Protective Edge’ [in 2014], we experienced three years of relative calm. PIJ has a separate agenda, but Hamas has the ability to force its strategy and policy on PIJ,” argued Erlich. “The question is: What is its level of motivation?”

Israeli Aircraft Strike Targets Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Israeli aircraft strike targets in Gaza after drone attack

By HealthONE

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli aircraft hit several military targets for Gaza’s Hamas rulers late Saturday after militants used a drone to drop a bomb on the Israeli side of the Gaza-Israel perimeter fence.

The Israeli military said the targets included “offensive military equipment and two military sites” for the Islamic group’s aerial unit, which it said was responsible for the drone attack.

There were no reports of Palestinian casualties.

Earlier in the evening, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had threatened Hamas with a “vigorous response” for the drone attack.

This appeared to be the first attempt to carry out an attack with a drone piloted from Gaza. The Israeli army said the drone released “what seems to be an explosive device” and lightly damaged an army vehicle near the fence.

Netanyahu is in the midst of a reelection campaign, with less than two weeks before a do-over vote after he failed to secure a parliamentary majority in April’s election.

“Hamas is responsible for everything coming out of Gaza and all attacks will be met with a vigorous response,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

Hamas, which has run Gaza since 2007, is known to be developing a drone program and has used it before for reconnaissance missions over the frontier and into Israel.

Also Saturday, an Israeli father and son were stabbed near the town of Qalqilya in the northern West Bank. Israeli medical services said the 17-year-old was in a serious but stable condition. The military said that the pair was attacked by a Palestinian and that soldiers were in pursuit.

On Friday, Israeli forces fatally shot two Gaza teenagers during regular weekly protests along the volatile perimeter fence. Militants in Gaza fired five projectiles into Israel in an apparent response to the deaths.

Israel Strikes Back Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Palestinian protesters carry away a man injured during clashes following a demonstration along the border with Israel east of Bureij, Gaza Strip, September 6, 2019. AFP

Israel Strikes Hamas Targets in Response to Gaza Drone Attack

Earlier on Saturday, a drone entered Israeli airspace from Gaza and dropped explosives on a military vehicle

Yaniv KubovichJack Khoury08.09.2019 | 00:17

The Israeli military said it carried out several air strikes in Gaza on Saturday – including on a Hamas naval base and two complexes of the organization’s aerial command. According to the statement, the strikes were in response to a drone attack earlier on Saturday, in which a Gaza drone entered Israeli airspace and dropped explosives on a military vehicle by the border fence.

Palestinians reported explosions in the central Gaza Strip, as well as in the northern Strip by Beit Lahia.

A few hours earlier, an Israeli military aircraft fired at what it identified as the Gaza cell that launched the drone attack.

Israeli airstrike in northern Gaza Strip, September 6, 2019.

In light of the violence and the upcoming Israeli elections, reports in Gaza say that the Egyptian security delegation will arrive in Gaza next week to meet with senior Hamas officials and de-escalate the situation.

On Friday night, Israel struck several Hamas targets in Gaza after five rockets were launched from the Strip overnight Friday, targeting Hamas military positions near the Israeli border with aircraft and tank fire.

Also on Friday, the Gaza health ministry reported that two Palestinian teenagers were killed by Israeli security forces during clashes near the Gaza border fence. At least 66 were also wounded in demonstrations along the border, 38 from gunfire.

Rockets fired from Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Tel Aviv [Israel], Sept 7 (Sputnik/ANI): The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said on Saturday that they had spotted five rockets fired from the Palestinian Gaza enclave into Israeli territory.

5 rockets fired from Gaza into Israel

“5 rockets were just fired from #Gaza at #Israel,” the IDF tweeted.

Late on Friday, the military said air raid sirens went off in the southern Israeli city of Sderot and other settlements located near the Gaza border.

There have been no reports about damage or casualties caused by the rocket attacks.

The Israeli military also said that it responded to the attacks by targetting several facilities belonging to the Palestinian Hamas movement, which governs the enclave and which Israel believes is responsible for attacks from the area.

“In response, we just struck a number of Hamas targets in northern Gaza,” the IDF said.

The escalation followed the 73rd round of weekly protests held by Palestinians near the Gaza border. The protests are usually overshadowed by violence between the demonstrators and the Israeli security forces.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, two Palestinians were killed and 76 others sustained wounds in the clashes on Friday. (Sputnik/ANI)

More Fire Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

A firefighter attempts to extinguish the blaze caused by a rocket outside Sderot, September 6, 2019. Eliahu Hershkowitz

Israel strikes Hamas targets in Gaza after five rockets launched – Palestinians – Haaretz.com

Israel attacked several Hamas targets in Gaza after five rockets were launched from the Strip overnight Friday, the Israeli army said.

Israeli airforce and a tank targeted Hamas military positions near the border with Israel in the northern Strip.

Earlier Friday, the Gaza health ministry reported that two Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces during clashes near the Gaza border fence on Friday.

Ali al-Ashqar, 17, was shot in the head east of Jabalya, while 14-year-old Khaled Abu Bakr al-Rubaie was shot dead east of Gaza City. At least 66 were also wounded in demonstrations along the border, 38 from gunfire.

Palestinian protesters flee from tear gas canisters fired by Israeli forces near Bureij in the central Gaza Strip on August 30, 20 AFP

A few hours later, rocket sirens blared in the southern Israeli city of Sderot. Five rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army said.

One rocket fell in an open field outside the city, starting a conflagration and causing no casualties, the Israeli army said. Two women were treated for anxiety following the rocket sirens, the Sderot municipality said.

“Israel is stepping up attacks against nonviolent protesters and it will be held accountable for these crimes,” Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qasem said on Friday after the deaths were announced.

“The policy of targeting civilian civilians will not deter the Palestinian people from continuing to fight for their freedom, and the return of their land,” he added.

Palestinian protesters are seen demonstrating on the Gazan side of the border to mark the first anniversary of the ‘March of Return’ protests, Nahal Oz, Israel, March 30, 2019. AFP

A senior Hamas official has told Haaretz that the Gaza factions’ joint war room is currently considering if and whether to respond to the killing of the two youths. Other Palestinian factions in Gaza, including Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, have already released statements espousing Hamas’s view.

The events took place during the 73rd weekly ‘March of Return’ event, which sees thousands of Gazans congregate near the border fence with Israel to protest the ongoing blockade.

According to an official statement by the Israeli army, 6,200 people took part in this week’s event, entitled ‘Protecting the Palestinian Home Front.’

Friday’s demonstrations were particularly violent, the Israeli army said, with protesters throwing multuiple incendiary devices, and damaging the fence in several areas.

The IDF confirmed they arrested two unarmed Palestinians that had crossed the fence, and reported several others entering Israeli territory before returning immediately into the Strip.

The demonstrations frequently turn into violent confrontations with Israeli armed forces, with the IDF using often drastic crowd control measures to prevent incursions into Israeli territory. In recent weeks, the organizers, led by Hamas, have tried to restrain individual units in order to lower the number of casualties and injured.

Last week, Bader Adin Abu Mousa was killed in similar circumstances. 75 people were reported wounded, at least 42 by live bullets, during the demonstration, which brought 6,000 to the border fence.

The status quo in Gaza is fragile, with inhabitants facing ever dire circumstances. Earlier this week, Qatar announced it would cut the fuel subsidy it gives to Gaza by half, potentially plunging Gaza back into darkness for three more hours every day.

While Israel heads to the polls in an unprecedented second election in one year, Gaza’s political leadership seems increasingly worried about the situation in the strip, with some calling it a “volcano about to erupt.”

Last month, renewed border violence erupted in Gaza, sparked by several attempts by armed Gazans, previously associated with Hamas or Islamic Jihad, to cross the border fence and target Israeli soldiers.

More Injuries and Deaths Outside the Temple Walls (Revelation 11)

Two dead and 76 injured during Gaza protests | The Jerusalem post

By IDAN ZONSHINE,ANNA AHRONHEIM

Palestinians protest next to the border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip, as it is seen from its Israeli side March 30, 2019. (photo credit:” AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

Over 6000 Palestinians gathered along the border. Seventy six people were injured, forty six from live ammunition, according to Palestinian Health Services.

Two Palestinians were killed during massive protests along the Gaza border Friday evening. Reports say the first casualty is 17-year-old Ali Sami Al-Ashqar was killed east of Jabalia City. The second has been identified as 14 year old Khalid Al-Raba’i, a resident of the Ashati refugee camp. He was killed east of Gaza City.

Around 6200 Palestinians gathered along the border. Sixty six people were injured in the ensuing clash with IDF forces, forty six from live ammunition, according to Palestinian Health Services.

IEDs and Molotov cocktails were thrown towards IDF forces during the protests. Reports also say two grenades were also thrown at IDF jeeps near Han Younis.

Two Palestinians breached the northern border of Gaza, but were promptly caught and arrested by the IDF.

IDF spokesperson released a statement in response to the violence:

“Violent demonstrations during which around 6,200 protesters assembled in several locations along the Gaza border fence. The Demonstrations were of an especially violent nature which included a large amount of IEDs, grenades and Molotov cocktails being thrown towards IDF forces along the fence.”

“There is noticeable damage to the border fence in several locations, and there has been a rising number of attempts to approach the border fence. IDF forces recognized suspects crossing the border all through the strip, each quickly returning to Gazan territory. Two suspects that crossed the border fence in the north of the strip were arrested by IDF forces and brought to interrogation.”

Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem tweeted in response. “Violating the blood of peaceful demonstrators in the marches of return and deliberately targeting them is a crime that the occupation bears all its repercussions.”

Sources in the Gaza Strip say the protest organizers, along with Hamas, have been urging restraint over the past few weeks ahead of the protest, telling Palestinians to not go near the fence or blow incendiary balloons in an attempt to lessen casualties.

Friday’s events marked week 73 of the weekly demonstrations near the border. Last week, 25 year old Palestinian Bader Adin Abu Musa was shot and killed near Han Younes during the protests.

Gaza Explosions Outside the Temple Walls Leave Hamas Exposed

Gaza explosions leave Hamas exposed

The Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip launched an arrest campaign against individuals suspected of the suicide bombings that rocked the coastal enclave Aug. 27, killing three police officers and injuring three others in Gaza City.

The first explosion happened at the Dahdouh checkpoint, west of Gaza City; the second targeted the traffic police checkpoint in the Sheikh Ajlin area.

No party has claimed responsibility for the incident, but the Hamas-affiliated Palestinian security services in Gaza arrested individuals said to be affiliated with the Islamic State (IS) and who espouse the group’s extremist ideology and antagonism toward Hamas.

Iyad al-Bazm, spokesman for the Interior Ministry in Gaza, was interviewed on Hamas’ Al-Aqsa satellite TV Aug. 28 and revealed preliminary information from the investigation. He said the first suicide bomber, without mentioning his name, blew himself up on a motorcycle at the police checkpoint near the Dahdouh junction. The other individual blew himself up at the Sahel checkpoint, west of Gaza City.

Bazm said that there has been significant progress in the investigation, portraying the bombers as collaborators with Israel who undermine the Palestinian situation in Gaza. He added that the security services will soon uncover all the details when the investigation ends.

The bombings spread panic among Gazans, who fear scenarios similar to terrorism operations in neighboring countries such as Egypt, Syria and Iraq. This prompted all Palestinian factions to condemn the attacks and call on the security services in Gaza to hunt down those behind the attacks.

An official security source in Gaza, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Al-Monitor that a few hours after the attacks the security services were on high alert in Gaza and began an intensive investigation using the information already available on the operatives of terrorist groups.

The source said, “We arrested a cell of eight individuals linked to the bombings. We found equipment, bombs and explosive belts. They were in contact via the internet with intelligence services outside Gaza, and some of them had been detained previously by the security forces. We obtained sufficient security information on a security scheme being prepared to undermine the stability in the Gaza Strip.”

However, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum accused in a tweet Aug. 28 the Palestinian Authority (PA) security services and Israel of being behind all attempts to provoke chaos in Gaza. He cited the assassination of Hamas military leader Mazen Fuqaha in March 2017; the assassination attempt of Maj. Gen.Tawfiq Abu Naim, head of the security services in Gaza in October 2017; and the attack of the convoy of former Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah during a visit to Gaza in March 2018.

Hossam al-Dajni, professor of political science at Ummah University in Gaza, told Al-Monitor, “Hamas had agreed with Egypt in 2016 to control their border to prevent militants from infiltrating. We believe that Israel may be behind the bombings in a bid to drain Hamas internally and create a security vacuum in Gaza, which the movement is well aware of and fears.”

The suicide attacks shocked Gazans, especially Hamas that is believed to have a strong security grip on the coastal enclave, which raises questions on how the bombers could pull off the attack bypassing the security apparatus.

Another suicide attack in Gaza took place on Aug. 17, 2017, when a bomber blew himself up at a Hamas checkpoint in the southern Gaza Strip, killing himself and a security agent.

Islam Shahwan, former spokesman for the Palestinian police in Gaza, told Al-Monitor, “The bombers seem to have collected sufficient information about the sites to be targeted with the exact number of security men available on the premises. This was a carefully thought-out plan to disturb the situation in Gaza.”

“I believe the Hamas security ought to up their game after this incident,” he said.

Shahwan noted that Gaza’s security services have gathered information during investigations with those involved in the bombings and revealed that they are associated with intelligence services outside Gaza.

In past years, Hamas’ security apparatus in Gaza had dealt with those associated with IS in two ways: pursuing and arresting IS supporters and engaging its members in ideological discussions in order to try to sway them, as they believe Hamas is insufficiently pious and is interested in politics at the expense of the armed resistance.

“We had information that Israeli and regional security forces have been trying to sway and pressure youths to carry out bombings in Gaza,” Mahmoud Mardawi, a member of Hamas’ national relations office, told Al-Monitor. “It is true that today’s bombing is a very dangerous shift aimed at destabilizing Gaza. However, Gazans stand behind Hamas that will strike hard and eradicate them once and for all.”

Hamas prides itself on the security it maintains in the Gaza Strip despite the lack of resources and difficult economic conditions. The Islamic movement is likely to take swift measures to tighten security and save face, all the while pointing fingers of blame at Israel, the PA and other regional countries it accuses of undermining the situation in the Gaza Strip.