The Israeli Defense Forces suffered their first casualty since the 2014 Israel-Gaza conflict last week, with observers fearing that recent skirmishes are a powder keg waiting explode into a full-scale war, as the underlying forces behind the Gaza border protests, attacks and counterattacks, which started in March, persist.
Two Palestinians, including a 14-year-old teen, were killed and 90 others injured as a result of shots fired by Israeli forces at the Gaza Strip border area with israel on Friday. The Israeli military maintains that its fire has been directed against protesters throwing Molotov cocktails, rocks and other projectiles at the security fence and IDF troops. The new casualties come following news last week that 21-year-old Aviv Levi, an IDF soldier, had been killed by a Hamas sniper at the Gaza border, becoming the first Israeli casualty over the last four months of violence in the region.
According to Jerusalem Post observer and former Israeli special forces soldier Yossi Melman, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that the protests on the Palestinian side have been inspired or even financed by Hamas, the de facto governing authority of the Gaza Strip since 2007. Two times this month, he wrote, the prospects of a full-scale war in the border area became a real possibility and were only narrowly avoided.
While the Palestinians and the United Nations General Assembly have accused israel of using excessive force in responding to the…