The IDF’s measures against violent rioters marching on Israel’s border with Gaza will be severe, an IDF general warned.
By: United with Israel Staff
The IDF has vowed to use all measures at its disposal to ensure that a planned Hamas-led mass march from Gaza onto Israel’s border this coming Friday will not escalate into a violent, mass-casualty incident.
In an interview with the Arabic-language Alhurra channel on Wednesday, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, head of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), referred to Hamas’ failure in running the Gaza Strip and said that the IDF’s response will be strong.
“Anyone who approaches the border is endangering his life,” Mordechai warned, stressing the IDF’s message that it did not view the march as a peaceful civilian march, as Hamas is trying to portray it.
“From my point of view, if bus companies you own take some of the protestors and bring them to the border, you and your families will be held personally responsible. If you enjoyed benefits in the past, they will be canceled,” Mordechai said in an interview with the US-based satellite TV channel.
The IDF has contacted bus companies in Gaza that had been contracted by Hamas to transport protesters to the border and warned them against becoming involved in any way.
“Personal steps will be taken against anyone who uses the buses to get to the violent protests and against the bus company owners,” he stated. “We made contact with more than 20 managers of bus companies that Hamas paid to encourage people who don’t want to leave their homes to participate in these violent protests.”
The IDF general emphasized that protestors attempting to breach the border will be dealt with severely. “The Israeli response will be strong, and not only against the protestors. Every option is on the table,” he stated.
Hamas’ Failure in Gaza
Mordechai pointed to Hamas’ failure to rule Gaza, adding that the mass march was an attempt by the terror organization to deflect the Gazans’ anger against it towards Israel.
“It [Hamas] has failed in the economy, in its management of Gaza, in the [Palestinian] reconciliation deal [with Fatah] and in its military terror project in which it invested all its millions in building underground tunnels,” Mordechai charged.
Israel recently held a series of meetings in Brussels and the US to promote projects for the benefit of Palestinians in order to maintain regional stability and encourage economic development. Mordechai noted during the interview that these conferences “are important because Hamas failed in the economic aspect and its management of Gaza.”
He also cautioned that Hamas is seeking close ties with Iran to boost its terrorism endeavors. The IDF has “information that Hamas, after it realized that all options had been closed on its face, is trying to open a direct line with Tehran via the al-Quds brigade in order to smuggle money and aid into the Strip.”
Israel’s Ynet news reported that the IDF has been issuing daily warnings to the residents of Gaza ahead of the planned protest. On Tuesday evening, it told the residents not to approach the border fence with Israel during their “Great March of Return,” describing it as a “March of Anarchy.”
In a video posted in Arabic on the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit Facebook page, residents were told that Hamas was using them as a decoy in its violent schemes rather than providing solutions to the problems they face.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces are preparing for Hamas’ mass marches on Israel’s border, which could result in many civilian casualties.
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