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April 1, 2018 12:45 pm

IDF, Hamas Brace for Next Round of Gaza Border Violence

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Israeli soldiers shoot tear gas from the Israeli side of the border with Gaza, as Palestinians protest on the Gaza side, March 30, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen.

The Israel Defense Forces and Hamas are bracing for a new round of violence at the Gaza border, as thousands of Palestinians remain ready to storm the border fence as part of the “March of Return.”

Clashes have been ongoing on the border, with a tent city going up nearby and several attempts at infiltration and acts of terrorism at the security fence. The IDF has responded with mostly non-lethal means, though it has used live fire against direct attacks.

Approximately 16 Palestinians have been killed, 10 of whom were identified as terrorists by the IDF.

According to the Hebrew site Mako, the IDF has thickened defense lines on the border and placed additional barbed wire fences.

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Hamas has called for snipers to be ready to fire on Israeli forces. On social media, March of Return leaders instructed demonstrators to bring mirrors to the fence in order to blind Israeli snipers and buckets to cover tear gas canisters. There were also calls for rioters to create smoke screens by burning tires near the border fence.

According to Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, the head of Hamas’ politburo Ismail Haniyeh pledged an escalation in violence over the coming days, saying, “In Friday’s march, we stopped at the border, but next time we won’t know where the border is.”

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