A Hamas terrorist group official said on Wednesday that 50 of the group’s members were among the 62 people killed during border clashes with Israeli forces on Monday, according to Times of Israel.
Counting the 3 Islamic Jihad terrorists identified on Tuesday, the total number of terrorists among the killed is now 53.
Hamas has been designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. Department of State for more than two decades.
Israeli authorities previously independently identified 24 members of terrorist groups among the people who died during the violent assault on Israel’s border coinciding with the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem on Monday. 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, according to BILD reporter Bjorn Stritzel. Islamic terror group Saraya al-Quds identified three of its members among the killed, according to its website.
Hamas called on Palestinians to cross the border en masse to coincide with the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem on Monday. The terrorists mixed in with civilians and fired shots and hurled pipe bombs at Israeli soldiers guarding the border, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement.
IDF released footage of a Hamas terrorist explaining how the group manipulated Palestinians in Gaza to rush the border with Israel.
“Hamas is the one that sends us Facebook and text messages telling us to go and in the mosques, they call and send flyers to tell to go to the fence,” the unidentified Hamas member said. “They control the Gaza strip and everything that happens there goes through them.”
“They tell women to go forward. You are a woman, go forward, the army does not shoot women. They tell young children to go forward, ‘the army does not shoot young children,”‘ the terrorist added. “They tell the child to go forward and he does. They trick him.”
The clashes continued on Tuesday with crowds of people flocking to the border. Some burned tires, hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails, floated incendiary kites, and attempted to destroy border fencing.
This is what happened yesterday during the violent riots near the security fence along the Gaza border pic.twitter.com/ygTDntFE1T
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDFSpokesperson) May 15, 2018
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.”
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.”
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.