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Gaza Protesters Charge Fence; 3 Killed, 100s Wounded

Reminded that Israel’s critics have denounced the country for attacking unarmed demonstrators with deadly force, Colonel Conricus said: “They aren’t the ones defending Israeli citizens from a hateful mob of thousands of Palestinians. It doesn’t matter if someone is carrying flowers if he’s tearing down the fence. That’s a violent threat.”

The protests are building toward what is meant to be a climax on May 15, when Palestinians will mark the 70th anniversary of what they call the Nakba, or catastrophe — the establishment of Israel and the war surrounding its creation. During this time, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were expelled from their villages.

Friday’s demonstration at the eastern edge of Gaza City — adjacent to the old Karni Crossing, a cargo terminal that allowed goods to cross between Israel and Gaza until it was shut down in 2011 — started relatively late in the day. But thousands began rushing toward the barrier fence after a rousing speech by the senior Hamas leader Ismail Radwan, setting off a tremendous barrage of tear gas from the Israeli side that did not deter many.

“When we are brave, we are getting closer toward martyrdom, martyrdom, martyrdom,” he said.

“We say to Nikki Haley, to Netanyahu, to the criminal Lieberman” — referring to the United States ambassador to the United Nations, the Israeli prime minister and Israel’s defense minister, Avigdor Lieberman — “we are afraid neither of death nor of martyrdom,” Mr. Radwan said.

Source: NYT > World

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