Source: The New York Times
JERUSALEM — In Gaza City, pickup trucks and motorized rickshaws busily ferried piles of tires toward the border fence with Israel on Thursday as Palestinians planned for another day of protests on Friday, hoping that the thick black smoke from burning rubber would frustrate Israeli snipers.
In Israel, officials defended the lethal tactics used by the military at last Friday’s protest, which killed 19 Gazans. They insisted they would not back off during the second round of protests against Israel’s longstanding blockade of Gaza.
Pointing to a series of armed attacks along the Gaza border since mid-February, the Israeli Army’s chief spokesman on Thursday accused Hamas, the militant group that rules the territory, of seeking to turn the area into a battlefield. The Israelis claim that Hamas is using women and children as human shields and burning tires to create a smoke screen, all to provide cover for violent attempts to penetrate the fence and attack Israelis.