After a particularly violent day on the Gaza Strip border, Israeli security forces are preparing for a similar day on Tuesday. Also, over in Lebanon, a parallel riot of Hamas and Hezbollah is planned along Israel’s northern border, which could result in more carnage, depending on how “inspired” the “peaceful demonstrators” plan to be.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Office said that during the day Monday there was a record number of participants in riots in the Gaza Strip, with some 40,000 Arabs distributed through 13 different locations. Some were paid to risk their lives at the fence, others were “coaxed” by Hamas police in the streets of Gaza.
59 are believed dead and 1,200 injured.
In the course of the day, the IDF carried out 11 air attacks against the Hamas infrastructure in the Gaza Strip, as well as two tank shelling attacks on Hamas positions.
Meanwhile, on the recommendation of the IDF and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, the defense minister approved the opening of the Kerem Shalom crossing on Tuesday, despite the millions in damages inflicted on the facility by Arab rioters. Naturally, the pace of the goods moving into Gaza will be slow, seeing as the multi-million dollar conveyor belt has been burnt down by the potential recipients of those goods.
Hamas apparently decided to step up pressure on Israel on Tuesday, and the defense establishment may have to face more of the same. Hamas plans to continue sending its armed agents surrounded by civilian human shields to commit suicide on the border fence. Because every day is “Nakba Day” when you live under Hamas’ rule in Gaza.
The Southern Command noted with satisfaction that the border fence was not breached despite hundreds of attempts by the Arab rioters to cross it.
PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas declared three days of mourning and a comprehensive general strike. The strike includes official and private institutions, schools and universities, shops close down, and all trade unions and affiliates announced their commitment to the strike.
The IDF estimates that Hamas will succeed on Tuesday in bringing tens of thousands of Gaza Arabs to confront IDF forces at the border fence, but in light of the high number of casualties, it is doubtful it will succeed in meeting its target of about 100,000 demonstrators (Monday’s was much slimmer pickings). Add to this the fact that much of the day will be taken up by 59 funerals, and you’ll understand why Tuesday’s crowds should be more modest than Monday’s.
Also, Tuesday marks the new lunar month, which on the Arab side happens to be Ramadan, and folks will be fasting during the day. Another reason not to expect much enthusiasm under the hot sun.
Just in case, Israel has warned Hamas that if it causes events escalate, the IDF would not hesitate to go after the terror group’s leaders.