IDF Preparing for ‘Nakba Dress Rehearsal’ on Gaza Border

A kite with a Molotov cocktail attached is flown by Palestinians during clashes with Israeli security forces on the Gaza-Israeli border east of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip on April 20. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

The IDF is preparing for yet another Friday of mass rioting on the Gaza border, as the date for the “ultimate march” consisting of tens of thousands of Gazans attempting to break through the border fence and invade Israel draws closer. Hamas has been promoting th Friday riots at the border over the past several weeks as a preparation for the May 15th “Nakba Homecoming March,” and Israeli security forces are preparing for what could be a “dress rehearsal” for that event throughout the day.

Over the past few weeks, Hamas has unveiled a number of strategies it plans to use to break through the fence, including burning tires to create smokescreens for terrorist activities, mass piling onto portions of the fence and attempting to dismantle them, and the use of kites to deliver firebombs and other flammable material to the Israeli side of the fence in order to burn forests and farms. The IDF has declared the area within 300 meters of the border fence on the Gaza side as a closed military area, and has been using antiriot measures to keep rioters away from the area.

Meanwhile, terrorists had a great deal of success with the kite burning strategy this past week, which was hot and dry. On Thursday, at least two kibbutzim suffered from blazes, with dozens of dunams of farmland and forest land destroyed. Officials of communities in the Gaza border area om Thursday demanded that the government relate to the fires as acts of terror – something that has not yet taken place – which would qualify them for increased compensation. The officials also demanded that the government respond “with appropriate measures to the kite threat, to make it clear to the terrorists that it is not worth their efforts to attack Israel in this way.”

Overnight Thursday, security officials said they arrested 4 wanted security suspects in other areas in Yehudah and Shomron. The suspects were wanted for participating in rioting and throwing stones and firebombs that endangered Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers. Several of the suspects were also charged with belonging to Hamas. All were being questioned on their activities by security forces.