The IDF will not show restraint against protestors on the Gaza border, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rukun said in an Arabic-language video released on Thursday evening, directed at any Gazans that plan on taking part in weekly Friday demonstrations labeled “The Great March of Return.”
“The IDF will not show restraint,” said Abu Rukun, “whoever comes within 100 meters of the fence is putting himself at risk. You’ve been warned,” he added.
The warning came amid criticism within Israel of the a ceasefire agreement with Hamas earlier this week that followed 48 hours of clashes that saw the Palestinian factions fire over 450 rockets at Israel, killing one person and seriously wounding three.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman officially submitted his resignation earlier Thursday in protest at the ceasefire agreement and the crisis is threatening to topple Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu;s government which now sits on a razor-thin 61 seat majority in the 120 member Knesset.
Hundreds of residents of Israel’s Gaza Belt towns protested the ceasefire agreement outside of IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, blocking roads and holding up signs that read “we are not second class citizens.”
The protests took place as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Gaza Belt municipal authority heads in order to clarify his position following the public criticism voiced at Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, who earlier on Thursday said that rockets fired at the Gaza Belt are not just cause for a full-scale military operation in Gaza.
“There is a difference between the Gaza Belt Region and Tel Aviv, which is the economic capital of Israel…the Hamas attack was minor because shooting on Tel Aviv has different implications,” he said.
Hanegbi said the prime minister and the defense establishment agree that to “stop the violence with Gaza” there is a need to try and reach a long-term understanding, not to enter a war that would cost hundreds of dead soldiers.
Meanwhile, an Egyptian Intelligence delegation met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, before setting out for Gaza to meet with Hamas officials in order to discuss the recent ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, Palestinian media reported.
Written by Yona Schnitzer/TPS | Photo by Eitan Elhads/TPS