Military officials are expecting a large turnout, raising the likelihood of bloodshed in the upcoming annual Naksa Day protests, as Palestinians mark the displacements that accompanied Israel’s victory in the multi-front 1967 Six Day War against neighboring Arab states.
By the end of the war, Israel had unified Jerusalem and taken control of the West Bank from Jordan and the Gaza Strip from Egypt.
The IDF leaflets scattered throughout the coastal enclave warned residents to stay far from the Israeli border, to refrain from attempting to breach or damage it, or carry out terror attacks against Israeli civilians or security forces during the protests, which will be held under the banner of “March of the Million to Jerusalem” following weeks of violent “March of Return” riots that have resulted in over one hundred Palestinians being killed by IDF live fire.
While Palestinians claim that the Palestinians were protesting peacefully, Israel insists that those killed were engaged in terror-related activities, including attempts to breach or damage the border fence or fly incendiary kites over the border, hundreds of which have wreaked havoc on Israel’s southern residents.
Echoing warnings made in the past, the IDF once again urged Gaza residents not to be exploited as tools of the ruling Hamas terror group by approaching the border in a repetition of recent weeks.
The military has also warned the residents that it is ready to respond as necessary to any scenario to protect Israel’s southern residents and Israel’s sovereignty.
No attempts to damage Israel’s security infrastructure or harm its citizens will be tolerated, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit has said.
“A wise person is a person who takes into account the consequences of his actions and decides in favor of the act in which the benefits surpass the damages it causes,” the leaflets began.
“If you consider this as it relates to approaching the fence or crossing the fence, you will reach the conclusion that this is not worthwhile and even harmful. Therefore, for your own good, you are advised not to take part in the violent protests near the fence, not to breach it, and not to allow Hamas to turn you into tools for serving its narrow interests,” the leaflets warned.
“Shi’ite Iran stands behind those interests and aims to ignite the region for its religious and sectarian interests,” it claimed. “It is worth you not allowing Hamas to turn you into hostages so that it can make political gains at the expense of the good and future of the Gaza residents, and especially the youth.”
Concluding the warning, the IDF repeated in the leaflets: “It is worth avoiding damaging consequences. We call on you all not to take part in the protests and anarchy and not to place yourselves in danger.”
Despite the IDF’s warnings, Hamas has urged the Gaza residents to take part in the demonstrations. In a video broadcast on the Hamas-controlled Al-Aqsa TV station, residents are called upon to make their way to the “March of Return and to destroy the blockade.”
Earlier, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit addressed the residents of Gaza once again attempting to convince them that Hamas and Iran were misleading them for sinister aims.
The IDF also said that the Palestinian nurse, Razan Najjar, who was killed in clashes on the Gaza border last week, “was not the merciful ange as Hamas propaganda tried to portray her. The video of her shows that she was used as a human shield by the inciting rioters, and proves how Hamas uses all Gaza population groups to further its goals and the goals of Iran."
The IDF's Arabic-language spokesman Avichay Adraee posted a video on his Facebook page on Thursday purporting to show Najjar throwing a gas grenade.
“Do paramedics around the world throw grenades, participate in riots and call themselves human shields?”, the post asks.
Najjar, 21, is the second woman killed in the rioting since they began in March. She lived in Khuzaa, a village near Khan Yunis that is close to the border and has served as one of five protest encampments across Gaza in recent weeks.