Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the 2018 AIPAC Policy Conference. Photo: Reuters/Brian Snyder.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the riots on the Gaza border over the last few weeks on Saturday, saying the marchers “want to crush the Jewish state. We won’t let them.”

According to Israel’s Channel Two, Netanyahu made his statements during a celebration of Mimouna, a Moroccan-Jewish holiday that marks the end of the Passover week.

“Here I salute the soldiers of the IDF who protect us all the time,” Netanyahu said. “They also protect us from those who pretend to be speaking in the name of human rights while they carry a Nazi flag. They talk about human rights, but really they want to crush the Jewish state. We won’t let them. We’ll stand up to them.”

The last two Fridays have been marked by massive demonstrations and riots on the Israel-Gaza border. Under Hamas sponsorship, tens of thousands of Palestinians massed by the border fence. Along with low-level violence like throwing stones and burning tires, there were attempts to breach the fence and commit acts of terrorism.

The IDF responded mostly with non-lethal methods, though live fire was used at several points. Further tension is expected as Israel’s Independence Day and the Palestinians’ Nakba Day approach.


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