Over 20,000 Palestinians answered Hamas’ call to gather near the Israeli-Gazan border fence on Friday for the “March of Return.” Eight people were killed and hundreds were injured, according to Palestinian media outlets.
March of Return protesters, today Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash 90
More than 20,000 Palestinians gathered near the Israeli-Gazan border fence for Friday’s “March of Return.” On Friday afternoon, Palestinian media outlets claimed that the death toll from the event has risen to eight. In addition, the Palestinians are reporting that hundreds of protesters were injured.
While the IDF has not confirmed the death toll, Palestinian organizations and Hamas have released the names of the protesters who were reportedly killed. According to the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, the youngest was a 16-year-old.
Muhammed Kamal al-Najjar, 25
Amin Mahmoud Muammarin, 28
Mohammed Abu Omar, 19
Ahmed Odeh, 16
Jihad Freineh, 33
Omar Samour, 31
Mahmoud Saadi Rahmi, unknown
Killed by Israeli snipers as they took part in the “Great Return March” along the border fence of the besieged Gaza Strip. pic.twitter.com/QFPTMa7vt0
— Palestinian Rights (@US_Campaign) March 30, 2018
The head of the IDF’s Southern Command toured the border area this afternoon and stated that some of the protesters have tried to take advantage of the chaos by attempting to carry out terror attacks. “We’ve seen attempts to carry out terror attacks under the disguise of riots,” Maj.-Gen. Eyal Zamir stated. “We are urging Gazans to stay away and warning the Hamas terror organization.”
The IDF spokesperson stated that the protesters are gathering in six different locations along the border fence. According to Israeli media reports, the Palestinians are lighting tires of fire and throwing Molotov cocktails and stones at the troops on the other side of the border.
Hamas tells the world about a peacful protest, it should be called a violent riot pic.twitter.com/RFjEP1dBnL
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) March 30, 2018
On Thursday, JOL reported that the IDF had instructed its troops to shoot whoever tries to cross the border. In addition, the IDF spokesperson announced a complete closure of the West Bank and the Gaza border crossings during Passover, with the exception of humanitarian and health-related cases.
Friday protests along the Israeli-Gazan border have been a weekly occurrence since US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December of last year. However, today’s protest turnout was much larger than previous turnouts because today is Land Day, a day when Palestinians worldwide commemorate the 1976 events in which six Arabs were killed by Israeli forces.