This past week there was a relatively high level of controlled violence during the Friday “return march.” The violence consisted of throwing stones, hand grenades and IEDs at IDF forces, damaging the security fence and lighting fires near the fence.
Before the violence there were three incidents that increased tension between Hamas and Israel: one was Palestinian Islamic Jihad sniper fire at IDF forces, carried out under the cover of a gathering of Palestinians near the fence. The second was the difficulty of delivering funds from Qatar to the Gaza Strip: Israel delayed the delivery because of the rise in the level of violence, while Hamas refused to accept the funds because of internal criticism. In the end an arrangement was found to transfer the funds to needy families and to finance an employment project with UN involvement. The third was the riots of Palestinian terrorist prisoners that began in the Ofer jail after searches for smuggled cell phones.