IDF prepares for Gaza border riots on Nakba Day
The Israeli army deploys vast forces along the Gaza border fence preparing for Tuesday's Nakba Day demonstrations; masses expected to attempt breaching border fence, fly incendiary kites into Israel; Gaza border communities' residents are instructed to carry on with routine; Hamas leader encourages Gazan youth to die as martyrs.
The IDF's Gaza Division and Southern Command are deploying their vast forces in the anticipation of the violent riots expected to take place along the Gaza border fence—spreading from Kerem Shalom crossing located in the southern Gaza Strip to the shoreline near Netiv HaAsara.
The IDF estimates that as apposed to the five to six demonstration sites it had to deal with so far during the weekly "March of Return" campaign, some 20 demonstration sites are expected next week.
The IDF is preparing for the possibility that many Palestinians will try to breach the Gaza border fence and enter Israel at once. Gaza's terror organizations are expected to attempt executing terror attacks in the wake of the riots.
IDF's Armored forces, snipers, tanks and drones—which are supposed to take down incendiary kites that are being flown from Gaza into Israel for the past few weeks—will be deployed along the border fence.
According to the IDF's evaluations, the violent incidents will remain within the Gaza border fence and will not spread into Israel's territory.
Gaza Division Commander Brig. Gen. Yehuda Fuchs met Thursday with the Gaza border communities' authorities' heads to prepare them for the Nakba Day events and briefed them about the IDF's comprehensive deployment plan.
However, no special instructions were given. The only consideration the Gaza border communities' residents have to take under account is several roads that will be blocked in the area.
IDF soldiers will be stationed in communities near the border fence as a means of reassurance for the residents. The police also intend to station a vast amount of forces in the area.
The Eshkol Regional Council head Gadi Yarkoni who attended the meeting with the Gaza Division commander said that the IDF does not see the Palestinians are interested in matters to escalate, but the forces are prepared for any scenario.
"We trust the army. We haven't received any new instructions and we continue with our routine," Yarkoni explained.
Another council head who attended the meeting said he was glad to hear that most of the events are expected to stay within the border fence and not to spread to the near-by communities, which will allow the communities' residents to maintain their routine.
"We rely on the IDF and know it will face this challenge as well. We'll go through this safely," he said.
Hamas has increased tension in Gaza during the past few weeks in the wake of the March of Return's culmination and it is trying with all its power to preserve the Gazans' enthusiasm following the decrease in number of people who have been attending the protest during the last month.
Though, if a mass breach of the border fence takes place, it might lead to a high number of casualties and even a military escalation that neither side is interested in.
At the same time, international efforts are being made to prevent escalation.
A Palestinian government source said during the past two weeks Qatari envoy to the Gaza Strip, Muhammad al-Amadi who is responsible for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and is in an ongoing solid contact with elements in Israel, including the former coordinator of government activities in the territories, Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai.
Moreover, the UN envoy to the Middle East Nikolay Mladenov has recently entered the Gaza Strip and met with Hamas leaders.
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar met this week with young Gazans in order to encourage them to take part in the Nakba Day protests and told his crowd about the aforementioned Mediation attempts.
Sinwar tried to incite the masses and described Gaza as a starved, humiliated tiger, which attempts to destroy it, have been made for 11 years.
"I'm afraid to die in bed and wish myself to die as a martyr during the 'March of Return' protests," Sinwar told the crowd.