Israel deploys 100 snipers along Gaza border

Thousands will gather in tent cities on the Palestinian side of the border to protest for the right of return.

    Israeli soldiers aim their weapons towards Palestinian protesters during clashes in the West Bank village of Tuqu near Bethlehem February 26, 2017. [Photo/Mussa Qawasma/Reuters]
    Israeli soldiers aim their weapons towards Palestinian protesters during clashes in the West Bank village of Tuqu near Bethlehem February 26, 2017. [Photo/Mussa Qawasma/Reuters]

    The Israeli military has deployed more than 100 snipers, with permission to fire, on the Gaza border, before a planned mass Palestinian demonstration near Gaza's border with Israel, the Israeli top general said in an interview published on Wednesday.

    “We have deployed more than 100 sharpshooters who were called up from all of the military’s units, primarily from the special forces ... If lives are in jeopardy, there is permission to open fire,” Lieutenant-General Gadi Eizenkot, the military’s chief of staff, told the Israeli Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

    Land day  

    The annual "Land Day" protest is set to begin on March 30, a symbolic day in which six Arab citizens of Israel were killed by Israeli forces during demonstrations in 1976 over Israeli land confiscations.

    The six-week long protest is for the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homes in what is now Israel.

    The protest is due to end on May 15, the day Palestinians call the “Nakba” or “Catastrophe”, marking the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the conflict surrounding the creation of Israel in 1948.

    Palestinians have long demanded that as many as five million direct descendants of the original Palestinian refugees be given the right to return to their ancestral homes. Israel rules this out, arguing that the return of Palestinians to what is now Israel would outnumber its Jewish majority.

    The protest is supported by several Palestinian political parties, including Hamas, organisers said.

    It is expected that thousands in the besieged Gaza will gather in tent cities in five locations on the Palestinian side of the border, away from the “no go” zone.

    The Israeli military enforces a “no go” zone for Palestinians on land in Gaza adjacent to Israel’s fenced border.

    Palestinian protestors on the Gaza side of the border have been frequently confronted by the Israeli soldiers using tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition.

    Al-Nakba

    Special series

    Al-Nakba

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?