Tensions continued to run high in the West Bank over the weekend as more than 10,000 Palestinians rallied in Hebron to celebrate Hamas' 25th anniversary. Additional protests were held in Nabi Salih, Bil'in, Qalandia and Beitunia.
The commander of the Israel Defense Forces' Judea and Samaria Division, Maj. Gen. Hagai Mordechai, arrived on scene for the Hebron protest.
Last week, a clash between an IDF patrol and a stone throwing mob in the West Bank ended in the soldiers' retreat and video footage of the event was circulated rapidly throughout Palestinian social media outlets.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday commented on the Hamas protests over the weekend saying, "With the approval of Abu Mazen, [Hamas] called for the destruction of Israel and the expulsion of Jews from Jerusalem and from every point in the State of Israel."
He added, "We have been here in Jerusalem, not for 25 years; we have been here in Jerusalem for 3,000 years. We have been in the Land of Israel for close to 4,000 years. We have a strong and steadfast national will, the continuous historical consciousness and strength of soul of a people that has struggled for its homeland and knows how to maintain its state."
Meanwhile, a Palestinian terrorist group comprising of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and PLO members in Hebron posted a video declaring the beginning of the third Intifada. The group threatened to kidnap IDF soldiers and carry out attacks on Israelis in response to IDF activity. A senior Palestinian Authority policeman rebuffed the video however, implying that Israelis were over analyzing the amateur video.
"Sometimes it seems as though Israel is digging underground to find the third Intifada," he said.
The IDF pointed to an escalation in riots in the West Bank this week, centered around the flashpoint city of Hebron. On Thursday, large riots broke out during a funeral procession for a Palestinian youth that was shot and killed by Israeli Border Police on Wednesday. Dozens of Palestinians hurled rocks and firebombs at IDF troops, who responded with crowd dispersal munitions. The Palestinians report five people injured in the protest.
An Israel Border policewoman, 19, shot and killed a Palestinian youth on Wednesday night in Hebron after the latter pointed a handgun at the head of another border policeman at a checkpoint near the Cave of the Patriarchs. An investigation later concluded that the gun was a toy replica.