IDF Ready for Nakba Day at Gaza Border

YERUSHALAYIM -
Palestinians take part in a rally marking the 71st anniversary of the Nakba, in Ramallah on Wednesday. (Reuters/Mohamad Torokman)

Thousands of rioters are expected to show up at the Gaza border fence Wednesday, which is “Nakba Day” – the day of mourning set aside by Arabs that coincides with the secular date on which the State of Israel was declared. The IDF has deployed thousands of soldiers in the Gaza border area and closed numerous roads along the border. Mass activities that include more than 300 people must be coordinated with the IDF, and residents were warned about the possibility of masses of terror balloons being sent off by Gaza terrorists towards Israel.

Among those who will be at the border will be thousands of schoolchildren, the IDF said; there is no school in Gaza Wednesday, and buses are transporting students to the border to participate in the riots.

The IDF in turned warned Arabs not to approach the fence and not to dispatch terror balloons. The army warned rioters that it would not hesitate to open fire, and that rioters who got too close to the fence or were caught trying to breach it or throw rocks and firebombs at soldiers were risking their lives.

With that, the IDF does not expect things to get too far out of control. On Monday, the first installment for the month of a $30 million payment to Hamas was handed over in cash, and under the arrangements negotiated by Egypt and the U.N. that led to the cessation of rocket fire by Gaza terrorists last weekend, Israel is set to expand the range of goods entering Gaza, and to examine the possibility of infrastructure projects.

The general consensus among IDF officials is that Hamas is unlikely to want to violate those understandings at this time, and that it will lean on Islamic Jihad to cooperate. With that, the IDF is not taking any chances, and sources in the army told Yediot Acharonot that it will respond “as usual” to any challenges.