For the second Friday in a row, tens-of-thousands of Palestinians gathered along the Gaza border to take part in violent riots against Israel as part of the Hamas-led “March of Return” protests.

The rioters set thousands of tyres alight, creating thick clouds of smoke that billowed into the air. Some of the protesters tried to attacked IDF troops, throwing firebombs and rocks at the Israeli soldiers who thwarted multiple efforts to breach the border fence.

Hamas said three Gazans were killed by Israeli fire as of 5 pm (Israel time). The IDF said it thwarted multiple efforts to breach the border fence — and that it used live fire to do so in some instances — as well as attempts by terrorists to use explosives against Israeli troops under the cover of the thick smoke created by fires.

It is unclear at this time how the three Gazans were killed or if they are affiliated with any terrorist organisation, but most of the Palestinians killed last Friday (16 out of 19) were terrorists, most of whom were killed in gun fights with Israeli soldiers or whilst carrying out terrorist attacks on the border fence.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry put out a series of tweets to help journalists reporting on the events of the Gaza-Israel border. Here is what they said:

These few points are pivotal elements of the story. It’s not possible to understand the events without this context.

    1. Hamas is a terror organisation whose objective is the eradication of the state of Israel. This context is crucial to understanding the nature and purpose of current events.
    2. It is Hamas, not Israel, that is initiating the current clashes; it is Hamas, not Israel, which is seeking to enter the other’s territory; it is Hamas, not Israel, who holds the key to the end of the confrontation and violence.
    3. Hamas is orchestrating this entire event – the rallies and riots, the attempts to infiltrate and overrun Israel with masses of people, the Molotov cocktails, the IEDs, the tire burning, the very presence of civilians, the exaggerations of the number of casualties, and so on.
    4. Hama has ruled Gaza with an iron fist since 2007 after violently overthrowing the Palestinian Authority. Hamas uses its rule to terrorize both Israel and the Palestinians of Gaza as well.
    5. Hamas leaders and operatives are leading these riots. The bulk of those killed in the first round of riots on Friday, March 30th were Hamas terrorists, not innocent civilians.
    6. These so-called “peaceful demonstrations” are being deliberately staged at the seam line between Gaza and Israel in order to provoke clashes with Israel.
    7. If the same demonstrations were to be held inside Hamas-controlled Gaza instead of at the fence – there would be no clash with Israeli forces. Israel has no presence inside Gaza. Gaza is controlled by Hamas, not anyone else.
    8. If these so-called demonstrations were truly akin to popular uprisings against oppressive rulers, they would be directed AGAINST Hamas not BY Hamas.
    9. Simplistic parallels between the current deliberate riots with legitimate demonstrations elsewhere serve a disservice to the people of Gaza and only further entrench Hamas’ illegitimate rule.
    10. Hamas is orchestrating this confrontation with Israel to advance its agenda of eradicating Israel and to divert Palestinian public attention from its own failings in ruling Gaza.
    11. Hamas is using these riots as cover for deliberate, targeted efforts to damage and cause a mass breach of Israel’s sovereign territory.
    12. These efforts are an act of war by a hostile terrorist organization from which Israel has every right to protect itself and its civilians – some of whom live only 100 metres from the fence. In so doing Israel will continue to act in accordance with international law.
    13. Concern for the well-being of Gaza’s civilian population should be addressed to those who are responsible for that population – the leaders of Hamas, not Israel.
    14. Similarly – concern for the environmental damage caused by the deliberate burning of thousands of rubber tires should be directed at those responsible: Hamas.
    15. Instead of spending aid money on projects enhancing the well-being of Gaza’s population Hamas continues to spend millions on its project of killing Israelis.
    16. Pointing accusatory fingers at Israel while absolving Hamas of its total responsibility for these events only serves to encourage more violence, not less.
    17. If the international community genuinely seeks to end the violence and confrontation on the seamline between Gaza and Israel, it must: act to end Hamas’ provocations and deliberate attempts to damage and breach the fence separating Israel from terrorist-ruled Gaza, to fire on IDF soldiers and to violate Israel’s sovereignty and harm its citizens through terror tunnels, rockets, and other terrorist attacks.
    18. It is Hamas alone which has launched this violent campaign; It is Hamas alone which can stop it.