Official: 50 of the 62 Gazans Killed in Border Violence Were Our Members
By Judah Ari
Gross and Times of Israel Staff
May 16, 2018
Hamas official on Wednesday acknowledged that 50 of the 62 Palestinians reported
killed during Gaza border riots on Monday and Tuesday were members of the
Islamist terrorist group, bringing the total number of known members of terror
groups among the fatalities up to 53.
the last rounds of confrontations, if 62 people were martyred, Fifty of the
martyrs were Hamas and 12 from the people. How can Hamas reap the fruits if it
pays such an expensive price?” said Hamas official Salah Bardawil in an
interview with the Palestinian Baladna news outlet.
about the figures by the presenter, Bardawil said they were “official.”
am giving you an official figure. 50 of the martyrs in the recent battle were
from Hamas,” he
spokesman Fawzy Barhoum did not confirm all 50 were members of the Islamist
told AFP Hamas paid for the funerals for all 50 “whether they are members or
supporters of Hamas, or unrelated to the factions.”
Naim, another senior Hamas official, declined to confirm or deny the number but
said it was a “large movement and has great popular support.”
was “natural to see members or supporters of Hamas in large numbers” in such
a protest, he said, adding that when they were killed they were “participating
peacefully” in demonstrations.
Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad had said on Tuesday that three members of
its Saraya al-Quds military wing were killed by Israeli forces in Khan
Israeli military shared a portion of Bardawil’s interview with an Arabic news
outlet, accompanied by English captions.
proves what so many have tried to ignore: Hamas is behind these riots, and the
branding of the riots as ‘peaceful protests’ could not be further from the
truth,” said IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus.
to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, 62 people in total were killed during
border clashes on Monday and Tuesday.
has not put out its own official death toll, but officials have questioned the
accuracy of the Hamas-provided figure. In one case, a Gazan doctor told the
Associated Press that an 8-month-old baby, who the Gaza ministry said died after
inhaling Israeli tear gas on Monday, had a preexisting medical condition and
that he did not believe her death was caused by tear gas.
Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday had said that at least 24 members of Hamas and
Islamic Jihad were killed in day-long clashes Monday. At that stage, Hamas
acknowledged 10 of the dead were its members.
IDF said its number was based on a joint investigation with the Shin Bet
of the people [from terror groups] killed belonged to the Hamas terror group,
and some to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” an IDF spokesperson said.
the dead, the IDF said on Tuesday, were all eight members of a
cell of armed Hamas operatives who were killed in a gun battle as they
sought to breach the fence in the northern Gaza Strip.
Hamas-run health ministry said 60 people were killed in Monday’s
demonstrations, most by gunfire, and more than 2,700 were injured. Another two
Palestinian men were killed Tuesday as smaller protests broke out in Gaza, the
has blamed Hamas for the deadly violence, saying the terror group encouraged and
led the protests, which included attacks on Israeli troops and attempts to
breach the border fence. The IDF
said Sunday that Hamas planned to send armed terrorists through any
breach in the fence to “massacre” Israelis.
the first “March of Return” protests in March, Hamas acknowledged that five
of its terrorists were among the fatalities, but it subsequently refrained from
acknowledging whether its men were among the dead.
Thursday, Hamas’s Gaza leader Yahya Sinwar said he hoped to see a mass breach
of the Israeli border during Monday’s protests timed to coincide with the US
embassy’s move to Jerusalem.
of Hamas, the terror group that rules Gaza and seeks Israel’s destruction,
have said the protests aim to erase the border and “liberate Palestine.”
demonstrations also protested the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, viewed
as a major provocation by the Palestinians and the Arab world. Palestinians see
East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Hamas has said protests would continue in a weekly format, but it was not clear if it would be able to maintain momentum during the fasting month of Ramadan, which begins this week.