“When you approach a town to attack it, you shall offer it terms of peace.” Deuteronomy 20:10 (The Israel Bible™)
The Israeli Air Force dropped thousands of flyers over Gaza on Monday, warning civilians not to take part in Nakba Day protest along the border on Tuesday and throughout the weekend.
“You are taking part in violent protests which endanger your lives… Hamas is using you to conceal its failures, and is endangering you and your families,” one of the flyers read. “The IDF is prepared for any scenario, and will respond to any attempt to damage the security fence or to threaten its forces and Israeli civilians. Don’t be puppets in the hands of Hamas who are taking advantage of you. Do not get close to the fence and beware of violent protests. Save your lives and work to build your futures!”
Tuesday is Nakba day, when the Palestinians mark the ‘catastrophe’ of the establishment of the state of Israel, followed immediately by the first day of the month of Ramadan on Wednesday. A possible scenario Israel’s security forces are preparing for is a widespread attempt by Gazan civilian to charge the border fence and cross into Israel en masse, as a culmination to the March of Return demonstrations which have been taking place on the border since the end of March.
So far, at least 45 Palestinians have been killed in the protests, and hundreds more wounded. According to Israeli sources many of those killed were affiliated with Hamas and other terrorist organizations.
The IDF’s challenges over the coming days will be both to contain the protests, not allowing Israel’s sovereignty to be violated, while also working hard to avoid Palestinian civilian casualties, in order to contain the situation and not allow it to escalate further over the coming month.