Photo Credit: IDF via Ofir Gendelman, Twitter
Burning tires produces thick black smoke during Hamas-driven Gaza border riots, masking infiltration attempts, April 6 2018

Hamas terrorists once again attempted to breach the security fence along the Gaza border with Israel on Friday, against all warnings by Israel and recommendations by everyone else worldwide, using 20,000 rioters, 10,000 burning tires and numerous attempts at infiltrating Israeli territory to carry out terror attacks.


In various spots along the border, thousands of Gazans burned 10,000 tires – as commanded by Hamas – which produced a thick, oily black smoke that rose into the sky, blinding most people and choking everything and everyone around. It was an effective mask for the efforts of Hamas terrorists and their allies who then proceeded to attempt destroy the security fence and infiltrate into Israeli territory to carry out terror attacks.

IDF soldiers were faced with several tasks at once, but paramount among those was the need to protect the Israeli civilians living nearby as some 20,000 Gazans burned tires, hurled firebombs (Molotov cocktails), grenades, and rocks while others attempted to destroy the fence and infiltrate.

Among the nine Arabs who were killed in the ensuing violence was an alleged Palestinian Authority journalist, Yasser Murtaja, who was reportedly hit while filming in an area completely masked by the thick black smoke. The IDF said in a statement that the soldiers did not deliberately target any journalist.

Giant fans coupled with water cannons helped dissipate the thick black smoke from burning tires so IDF soldiers could spot attempted Hamas infiltrators through the security fence along the Gaza border, April 6, 2018

Among the weapons employed by the Israeli military to fight the smoke were giant fans next huge jets of water.

“For weeks we have been warning against coming close to the fence and calling on Gaza’s residents not to obey the orders of the terror group Hamas, and to refrain from terror activities and other violent acts against Israel,” the IDF said.

“Despite this, since last Friday the IDF has been dealing with tens of thousands of people approaching the fence, all instigated by Hamas.

“In response IDF forces are acting under clear orders designed for these circumstances. The IDF does not deliberately target journalists. The circumstances in which the journalist was supposedly hit by IDF fire are not known and they are being investigated.

“The mission has not changed: we are protecting the residents of the south. We will not allow terrorist attacks, harm to security infrastructure or violations of sovereignty.

“Hamas is responsible for whatever happens in Gaza,” IDF Spokesperson Ronen Manelis added in a tweet.

“We have no intention of turning this into a weekly event. If the violent events continue, our response will not be with water cannons aimed at the fence.”

Defense Minister Liberman responding to the death of the journalist said, “I don’t know who he is, a photographer or not a photographer. Whoever flies a drone over IDF soldiers should know he is endangering himself. There were already events where terrorists dressed up as reporters:

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.