Israeli Army Preps for Violent Protests on Gaza Border, Possible Rocket Fire

The Israeli military is preparing for violent demonstrations at the Gaza border fence on Friday, expecting an increase in the number of protesters compared to the past several weeks.

The army is warning of an increased use in explosive devices and grenades, and estimates that live fire may also be used against Israeli forces. Due to the potential of violent escalation, the army is preparing the the possibility that Hamas and Islamic Jihad would respond with rocket and mortar shell fire.

The IDF has deployed additional forces along the border with Gaza. In addition, the army has noticed a rise in the number of launches of balloons and kites carrying explosive devices in recent days. IDF soldiers are expected to respond with live fire against demonstrators using such weapons.

The IDF’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Maj. Gen. Kamil Abu Rukun, sent a message on Friday to residents of the Gaza Strip urging them not to cooperate with Hamas. He threatened that if the violent protests and “the daily terror attacks continue,” then Israel will reduce the area allowed for fishing off the Gaza shore back to three miles.