Israeli authorities have identified 24 members of terrorist groups among the people who died in clashes on the Gaza border on Monday, May 14.
The majority of those identified belonged to the Hamas terrorist group, while others belonged to the Islamic Jihad terrorist group, according to Israel National News.
Palestinian authorities released “martyrdom” photos of 10 members of the Hamas terrorist group’s internal security apparatus who were killed on Monday, according to BILD reporter Bjorn Stritzel.
Hamas has been designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. Department of State since 1997.
Islamic terror group Saraya al-Quds identified three of its members among the killed, according to its website. In addition, a funeral picture showed the burial of Mohammed Dwedar wrapped in the flag of Kataib al-Qassam, the armed wing of Hamas.
Hamas called on Palestinians to cross the border en masse to coincide with the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem on Monday. Hamas operatives fired shots and hurled pipe bombs and grenades at Israeli soldiers guarding the border, the Israeli Defense Forces said in a statement accompanied by a video.
Yesterday afternoon, the IDF received intelligence that Hamas operatives were preparing to cross through the security fence from northern Gaza. IDF special forces arrived at the scene, & 8 armed terrorists hurled pipe bombs & grenades at the soldiers & the security fence. pic.twitter.com/8G73DjEvZl
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) May 15, 2018
The clashes continued on Tuesday. Local authorities say at least 60 people have been killed in two days as crowds of people burned tires, hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails, floated incendiary kites, and attempted to destroy border fencing and illegally cross into Israel.
Israel sent 53 tons of medical supplies into Gaza this week, according to the IDF.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley blamed Hamas for the border protests and the resulting deaths.
“Let’s remember that the Hamas terrorist organization has been inciting violence for years, long before the United States decided to move our embassy,” Haley told United Nations officials, according to Politico. “This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday.”
Haley asked those present what they would do if a hostile group attempted to cross their borders.
“No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has,” she said. “In fact, the records of several countries here today suggest they would be much less restrained.”
Haley also described the tactics used by Hamas, including urging the crowds to advance by falsely claiming that Israeli forces had retreated.
The White House also blamed Hamas in remarks on Monday and called the terrorist group’s actions a “gruesome and unfortunate propaganda attempt.”
“The responsibility for these tragic deaths rests squarely with Hamas,” Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah said. “Hamas is intentionally and cynically provoking this response.”
“I think the Israeli government has spent weeks trying to handle this without violence, and we find it very unfortunate,” Shah added.
The opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem is a poignant event for Hamas, which has hoped for years to reclaim East Jerusalem and make it the capital of the Palestinian state.
When Trump announced the move of the embassy in December last year—in accordance with the Jerusalem Embassy Relocation Act passed in 1995—he said that specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final negotiations.
After Trump announced that the U.S. would move its embassy to Jerusalem at least ten other countries said they intended to follow suit.