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IDF drops leaflets over Gaza ahead of Friday's protests

Palestinians pose behind makeshift fire kites in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on May 4, 2018 before launching them over the border into Israel
SAID KHATIB (AFP)
IDF is bracing for yet another round of protests in Gaza on Friday

Ahead of Friday’s expected protests in Gaza, Israel’s Defense Forces (IDF) dropped leaflets across the Hamas-ruled enclave, warning the Palestinian residents of partaking in any destructive activities such as damaging the border fence and carrying out acts of terror.

IDF is bracing for yet another round of protests in Gaza on Friday, where Palestinians will mark the anniversary of the 1967 Six Day War, an annual commemoration known as the ‘Naksa’, or ‘setback’.

On Tuesday, which was the actual anniversary of the 1967 war (June 5), demonstrations in Gaza were held, but Friday’s protests are expected to be larger.

The leaflets dropped on Gaza on Thursday read as follows;

“To the residents of Gaza! Peace be unto you and may you have a blessed Ramadan. A wise man takes into account the consequences of his actions ahead of time, and chooses the path whose benefits outweigh its potential damage. If you consider this in deciding whether to approach the security fence or cross it, you will conclude that this action is neither worthwhile and is liable to be severely detrimental.”

IDF

The leaflets also state that Iran is behind a narrow agenda to inflame tensions, and that Gazans should not allow themselves to be tools of Hamas.

“Therefore, for your own benefit, it is better that you not participate in the violent riots at the fence, not attempt to breach it, and not permit Hamas to turn you into a tool to advance its narrow agenda. Behind this agenda is Shi'ite Iran, which has made it its mission to inflame tensions in the region for the sake of its religious and sectarian interests.”

Tens of thousands of Gazans have taken part in the weekly Friday protests since March 30, where more than 100 Palestinians have been killed in clashes with IDF and thousands injured.

The demonstrations have been accompanied by clashes as some protesters hurl stones at Israeli soldiers and attempt to breach the border fence, at times laying explosive devices on the fence or throwing grenades and using kites carrying cans on fire to set ablaze Israeli fields, torching extensive patches of agricultural land near Gaza.

Israel continues to hold Hamas responsible for any violence at the demonstrations.

On Thursday, IDF also issued a statement on the A 21-year-old Palestinian woman, Razan al-Najjar, volunteering as a rescue paramedic who died after being shot in the chest by Israeli fire last week.


“Razan al-Najjar is not the angel of mercy Hamas propaganda is making her out to be,” IDF Arabic spokesman Avichay Adraee tweeted on Thursday.

The statement was accompanied by a video allegedly showing the young paramedic throwing what looks like a smoke grenade, as well as her saying “I’m here on the line being a protective human shield saving the injured.”

“By her own admission, she was a human shield for the rioters and saboteurs, demonstrating how Hamas exploits all of Gazan society for its own purposes as well as Iran’s. Do medics in other countries throw bombs and participate in riots and refer to themselves as human shields?” the IDF general said.

Following the killing of Najjar, UN’s envoy for the Middle East, Nickolay Mladenov, issued a strongly worded statement criticizing Israel for its conduct in Gaza.


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