On Wednesday night, amid the tumultuous backdrop of Gaza's border, a group of Hamas terrorists attempted to detonate a bomb on the fence guarding against Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers. Tragically, the bomb detonated prematurely, resulting in the loss of six young lives, all in their early twenties. Among the casualties were the sons of prominent Hamas figures – Bara' Elzard, the son of Gaza's naval police commander, and Abed Elnazar Nofal, the nephew of Iman Nofal, a member of the Supreme Military Council within the Gaza Adin Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing.
Hamas spokesman Hazem Kassem promptly asserted, "Hamas leadership always stands ready to sacrifice everything for the homeland's liberation." This statement was seemingly intended to deflect criticism aimed at senior Hamas officials, who often dispatch Gaza's youth on perilous missions, even as their own children lead lives of relative luxury within the Gaza Strip and sometimes beyond its borders.
Another casualty at the Israeli border fence was Muhammad Kedum, a military operative affiliated with an independent terrorist cell operating under Hamas' authority. Kedum was known among his peers as "the commander of the fence operatives" and was considered a seasoned veteran of terrorist activities along the Israeli border. Despite multiple past injuries, he had taken up a leadership role among the rioters.
Tarik Salmi, the spokesperson for the Islamic Jihad, expressed their condolences, saying, "We mourn the martyrs who fell while defending Palestinian prisoners. The occupation must bear full responsibility for the hardships faced by the Palestinian people. The occupation's crimes will not go unanswered by the resistance, which will persist until the land is liberated."
The roots of these renewed riots trace back approximately two weeks when the "Supreme National Authority for Marches of Return and Breaking the Siege," acting on behalf of Hamas, decided to revive protest demonstrations within the border fence's vicinity. To incentivize the involvement of young protesters, who often sustain serious injuries during these events, organizers drew a connection between the development of five refugee camps in eastern Gaza and the protests, conveying a message of "reclaiming our stolen lands."
Against this background, another riot is expected at the border this Friday as well. In the past, the riots have contributed to increasing tensions between Israel and the terrorist organizations in Gaza, and more than once to rocket launches and strikes by the IDF in response. In Israel, meanwhile, it is hoped that the relative peace since the May 2023 IDF operation in Gaza will be maintained.