October 8, 2018
IDF Sends Reinforcements To Gaza Amid Nightly Riots Along Security Fence
The Israeli military decided to deploy additional troops to the Gaza Strip area on Thursday (4th), following weeks of nightly riots along its security fence.
“It was decided to send large numbers of reinforcements in the coming days to the Southern Command and to continue the determined policy of thwarting terror attacks and preventing infiltrations into Israel from the Gaza Strip security fence,” the army said in a statement.
Border riots, dubbed the “Great March of Return” have increased dramatically in recent weeks. These began as weekly events from late March through the summer, but appeared to slow as the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group entered indirect talks with Israel aimed at a ceasefire.
When those talks stalled, Hamas increased the pace of rioting and demonstrations against Israel, and created new units tasked with sustaining tensions along the border fence including during nighttime and early morning hours.
These nightly riots, in which Palestinians regularly throw grenades and explosives at IDF troops, as well as ongoing airborne arson attacks using balloons or kites carrying incendiary devices, have threatened to spark a new large-scale clash between Hamas and the IDF in Gaza.
Both Israel and Egypt enforce a number of restrictions on the movement of people and goods into and out of Gaza. Israel says the blockade is necessary to keep Hamas and other terror groups in the Strip from arming or building military infrastructure.
Israeli Communities Near Gaza Border Suffering From Air Pollution
Israelis living near the Gaza border have been suffering from the rioting for months. Every night they can hear the explosives being hurled at IDF troops.
The Palestinians have also taken to playing recordings of the Code Red rocket-alert siren using megaphones to scare the residents, and at certain sections of the fence Palestinians can come close enough to shout abuse at the residents. In one town on the border, residents have been hearing shouted in Hebrew, “We’re coming to kill you through the tunnels; we’ll burn down your town.”
The Israeli residents also have to deal with the daily incendiary balloon terrorism, which causes an average of 10 fires a day.
The smoke from the daily and nightly protests, caused when Palestinians set fire to numerous tires, also poses a health risk to the Israeli residents of the border area.
Residents of Kerem Shalom, and particularly young children, have been suffering from breathing difficulties and vomiting caused by the burning tires’ smoke.
Representatives of the Environmental Protective Ministry, who arrived at the community several days ago to carry out several air quality monitoring tests, found unusually high levels of air pollution both inside and outside of homes.
“Following the tests, we recommended residents close themselves up in their homes,” the ministry said Wednesday (3rd).
At this time, however, there has been no decision made to evacuate, mostly because the residents don’t want to give Hamas a victory from the protests. But if the situation gets worse, residents say they might not have a choice but to leave.
Desperate Gazans Protest Against Hamas – Shlomi Eldar
Those following the violent demonstrations along the border fence with Israel might think that all two million Gaza residents had mobilized for the campaign against Israel. However, virtually all media were unaware of other protests in recent weeks that were generated by opponents of Gaza’s Hamas rulers. Gaza residents are openly and almost fearlessly expressing themselves against Hamas, protesting against the terrible reality imposed on them by Hamas since it took control of Gaza by force in 2007.
Dozens of Palestinians demonstrated in recent weeks in Khan Yunis and the adjacent Abasan neighborhood, calling on Hamas to take care of its people or “disappear.” Similar protests took place two weeks ago in Shabura, in Rafah and in Jabalia. Protesters claimed Gaza’s rulers had taken the Strip back to the Middle Ages.
Demonstrators accused leading Hamas officials of corruption and of favoring the core of their supporters over the general population. One Khan Yunis resident said, “They [Hamas] take care of their own people who are given work and food and gifts….They send people to die while the commanders [Hamas leaders] enjoy power, supplies and luxuries.”
Merkel At Yad Vashem: ‘Holocaust A Crime Unlike Any Other’
Some 75 years after the extermination of Europe’s Jews by the Nazis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum on Thursday morning (4th).
Merkel toured the Hall of Names, participated in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, visited the Children’s Memorial and signed the Yad Vashem guest book.
“Eighty years ago, on Kristallnacht in November, the Jews in Germany suffered hatred and violence the likes of which they never encountered before,” Merkel wrote in the guest book. “What came later is a crime unlike any, a breaking point for civilization, the Holocaust. Since then, Germany has a responsibility to remember this crime and fight anti-Semitism, xenophobia and hate in general.”
After her visit to Yad Vashem, Merkel received an honorary doctorate from Haifa University and met with students at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
After several meetings with Israeli leaders, including President Reuven Rivlin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Merkel returned to Germany Thursday evening (4th)
In Veiled Threat, Russia Says It Hopes Israel ‘Will Exercise Good Judgment In The Region’
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin issued a veiled threat to Israel over its counter-terrorism operations in Syria while stating that the channel between Russia and Israel to prevent military clashes in Syria will remain in place.
Speaking to Russia’s Sputnik News on Thursday (4th) in the wake of the Russian deployment of the S-300 air defense batteries in Syria, Vershinin claimed that the systems were to “provide a qualitatively new level of air defense,” underscoring that Moscow hopes Jerusalem “will exercise good judgment in the region,” despite Israel’s statements that it will continue with its military operations in Syria.
Russia has completed the delivery of S-300 air defense systems to Syria, the Russian defense minister said Tuesday (2nd), despite opposition to the move from the US and Israel.
While the deployment of the S-300 batteries in Syria could hinder Israeli operations against Iranian and terror-related targets in the country, the obstacle is not insurmountable, and Israel has vowed to continue its operations.