Hamas downplayed on Friday threats made by Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman, stressing that the Great March of Return will continue.
Hamas spokesman Abdel-Latif Al-Qanou wrote on Twitter: "Threats of the Israeli Army's Minister Avigdor Lieberman are empty. They will not scare our people". He added: "Lieberman's threats have become worthless compared to the will of our people to break the siege and continue the protests of the Great March of Return".
Al-Qanou's tweet came in response to a threat made by Lieberman yesterday in which the Defence Minister said the Jewish holidays had ended "without any escalation" but "a high price was paid due to the rioters along the Gaza borders". He also called for Hamas leaders to "beware" now that the holidays were over.
On Thursday, Lieberman ordered the Israeli army to be on high alert and on Friday his chief of staff ordered full deployment of the Israeli army along the fence.
Israeli occupation forces have been violently cracking down on the Great March of Return, which started on March 30 and has called for an end to the 12-year-old Israeli siege of the Strip, as well as reinforcing the Palestinians' right of return.
Since then, Israel has killed 195 protesters, including 31 children, and wounded more than 21,500 others, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.