On March 30, there was a clash between the Israel Defense Forces and thousands of Palestinians. The protest remains the largest ever witnessed in Gaza in recent years. Coincidentally, the protest took place on Palestinian Land Day, which commemorates the confiscation of Palestinian owned land in Israel in 1976. Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Fawzi Barhoum expressed how pleased and satisfied he was in regard to the large turnout. According to Hamas Spokesman Barhoum, the protest reflected the determination of the Palestinian people to return to their land and to break the siege imposed by Israel on Gaza.

According to a statement made by IDF, these Palestinians were rioting throughout the Gaza strip, rolling burning tires and hauling stones at the security fence and IDF troops. On Friday, The Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman took to Twitter to warn these Gaza residents that Hamas was risking their lives. He also informed them that anyone who approaches or makes an attempt to breach the security was endangering his life.

Protest between Palestinians and IDF

A few days ago, Hamas health ministry reported that 17 Palestinians were killed, while Israeli tear gas, rubber bullets wounded 1400 in Gaza strip during a massive protest. According to the Israeli Defense Forces’ estimation, more than thirty thousand participated in the protest, which was dubbed “March of Return.”

The protest which was focused on six different sites quickly turned bloody as Palestinian protesters and Israeli Defense Forces clashed along the fence.

Israeli military accused Hamas of using the protest as a cover to carry out a terrorist attack against the state of Israel. Although the protest appeared to subside after sundown, the army still remained alert. In the evening, tanks and jets bombed Hama's positions, after two Gazans who were suspected to be Hamas operatives opened fire on troops.

Although the Israeli military did not confirm the number of Hamas operatives that attacked them, they mentioned that they faced violent terrorists at the border fence. The army said the organizers of the violent protest were deliberately placing civilians in harm way and cited an incident in which a seven years old girl was sent to the security fence in a dubious attempt to draw Israeli military fire, but was spotted by troops that understood the cynical plan and ensured she was not hurt.

The IDF spokesman Ronen Manelis in a statement said that the soldiers used a pinpoint fire whenever attempts were made to breach the security.

Right of return

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh declared in a speech at the scene of the protest that Friday's demonstration marked the beginning of the Palestinian return to all Palestine lands. Ismail Haniyeh added that the march of return was a direct message to US President Donald Trump that Palestinians will not give up their right to Jerusalem, including all the Palestinian lands occupied by Israel. Due to the killings and injuries which the protest caused, The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting, but unfortunately, they failed to agree on a joint statement.