The Jewish state has doubled security forces in the area despite an assurance that the protests against Israel’s refugee policy will be peaceful. Amid rising border tensions, it’s been reported that a Palestinian has already been killed in the area.
Reports state that one Palestinian has been killed and at least 20 wounded during the ongoing violence on the border between the Gaza strip and Israel, where 7,000 Palestinians are currently protesting against Israel on Friday. They will demand the proper of Arab refugees to return to the territory of Israel, which the country has blocked over fears that it will lose its Jewish majority. According to Israel Defense Forces spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis, the army has prepared for worry along the border which separates the country from the Palestinian Territories.
The rallies, inspired by the Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization Hamas, commemorate “Land Day” when Arabs honor the six Palestinian protesters who were shot and killed by the IDF in 1976. The protests, which Hamas claims to be peaceful, will culminate on May 15th, the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, when many Palestinians had to leave this state. Their descendants represent the majority of Gaza residents.
Now the Palestinians possess set tent camps for sit-in on the border. On the final day, the protesters intend to cross the border fence, strongly opposed by the Israelis. Despite claims they don’t want violence, the IDF warns that they will fire if attempts are made at “mass infiltration” or if the demonstration grows violent and the fence is damaged.
“We will not allow the Hamas leadership to remain in Gaza by sending women and children to the border fence. If needed, we will respond to those behind these demonstrations both at the border and in Gaza. There is one task — to prevent a massive breach of the fence and the disruption of public order,” Manelis’ statement reads.
The Jewish state intends to double its military presence along the border. More than 100 snipers possess been deployed, as well as Special Forces and paramilitary police units for riot control.
Meanwhile, armor fire on Gaza border has left a Palestinian farmer killed and another man injured. The Israeli Army said they reacted to suspicious activity along the border fence.
Yasser Samour, a relative of the victim in the southeastern corner of Gaza, said the 27-year-extinct victim was harvesting parsley before dawn when he was attacked.
“I was working on the next field,” Yasser Samour said. “We heard shells landing on the field where Amr works. We ran there and found him hit directly with a shell. We were more than a kilometer away from the border.” At its narrowest, the Gaza Strip is just 6 km wide.
The tensions in the area possess been rising over the past three months ahead of the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel, as well as the recent relocation of the US Embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem.
In December US President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Israel. The trek was widely condemned at the UN, among European leaders, and even by Pope Francis. Six days after the announcement, Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, called for the beginning of the third “intifada,” a word meaning “uprising.”
Other critical factors include the worsening social and economic decline in Gaza, as well as the failure of reconciliation between the secular Fatah and Islamist Hamas movements.
At the same time, Israel has boosted operations in Gaza, with the latest taking spot last Sunday, when the IDF attacked Hamas targets after an attempt to damage the fence between Israel and the Gaza strip and torch an engineering vehicle.
With a population of over 1.8 million crammed into a 365 square kilometer strip of land along the Southeastern Mediterranean coast, the Gaza Strip has a higher population than Bahrain, is less than half its physical size, and has a GDP that is less than 1/30 that of the Persian Gulf nation.
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