TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – The Israeli military has deployed more than 100 snipers on the Gaza border with Israel before a planned mass Palestinian demonstration, instructing them to shoot anyone who may approach the border fence.
“We have deployed more than 100 sharpshooters who were called up from all of the military’s units, primarily from the special forces … If lives are in jeopardy, there is permission to open fire,” Israeli Lieutenant-General Gadi Eizenkot, the military’s chief of staff, said on Wednesday.
The annual "Land Day" protest is set to begin on March 30, a symbolic day in which six Palestinians were killed by the Israeli regime’s forces during demonstrations in 1976 over Israeli land confiscations.
The six-week-long protest is for the right of return of Palestinian refugees to their homes in Occupied Palestine.
The protest is due to end on May 15, the day Palestinians call the “Nakba” or “Catastrophe”, marking the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in the conflict surrounding the creation of Israel in 1948.
Palestinians have long demanded that as many as five million direct descendants of the original Palestinian refugees be given the right to return to their ancestral homes. Israel rules this out, arguing that the return of Palestinians to Occupied Palestine would outnumber its Jewish majority.
The protest is supported by several Palestinian political parties, including Hamas.
It is expected that thousands in the besieged Gaza will gather in tent cities in five locations on the Palestinian side of the border, away from the "no-go" zone.
The Israeli military enforces a "no-go" zone for Palestinians on land in Gaza adjacent to the fenced border with Occupied Palestine.