Another Friday, and another round of Hamas-led violence at Israel’s border with Gaza.
Palestinian Authority sources told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper this weekend that Egyptian intelligence officials who met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Gaza City last Thursday demanded that so-called Gaza “protesters” stay at least 500 meters away from the Gaza border this time around – and/or halt the weekly event altogether.
But it was clear that Hamas had decided to reject both demands, although there were reports that Hamas had ordered its forces to maintain a low profile and keep some distance from the security fence.
Watch what happens during this @FoxNews interview & ask yourselves this: Do these look like protests to you? Calling them that isn’t fake news, it’s just fake. There are 100s of Israeli families >1 mile from where @TreyYingst is standing & it’s our duty to protect them. pic.twitter.com/F2CftH1TS6
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDFSpokesperson) October 19, 2018
Various Arab media reported the number of rioters was smaller this weekend — 10,000 instead of last weekend’s 20,000 — and they disbanded earlier than usual.
Perhaps that came in response to the clear message from Egyptian mediators that Israel was serious this time around, and that the IDF would use “unprecedented force” if the violence were to continue.
The violence did continue, although the number of incidents was reduced.
Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were still hurled over the security fence at Israeli soldiers, as were Molotov cocktails and live grenades, as in previous weeks.
Incendiary balloons were flown across the fence into Israeli territory, to start fires in agricultural fields and forest land. And some Gazans did attempt to breach the border themselves despite instructions to the contrary.
IDF soldiers responded with standard riot control methods, and with live fire as necessary. And so far, neither side has declare a full-scale war.
Business as usual in the Middle East, it seems.