Three IDF brigades have been ordered to stop their training program and were sent to Gaza and Judea and Samaria as part of preparations for the stormy week ahead, Israeli media reported Sunday. Thousands of soldiers are currently being sent to the various fronts and are on high alert, especially after the exposure and demolition of a terror tunnel in the Gaza Strip near Israel’s border.
The bombing of the tunnel was carried out in response to the blowing up of the Israeli gas pipeline which fed the Gaza Strip, and the extensive arson damage caused to the Kerem Shalom Crossing, which will remain closed until further notice for renovations.
On Friday, it was reported that in a closed conversation on Wednesday, Hamas prime minister Yahya Sinwar, formerly the leader of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades in Gaza, told students in the Gaza Strip that he would arrive on Monday, “Nakba Day,” at the border fence with Israel.
“I’m ready and willing to become a martyr, I wish I were a martyr,” he declared.
It could be arranged.
Sinwar also told the young Gazans that the “Nakba Day” events and the protest against the transfer of the American embassy to Jerusalem were “our last chance to break the siege.”
In his speech, Sinwar tried to call on young Gazans to come to protest – and even to sacrifice their lives on the security fence.
On Tuesday, “Nakba Day,” Hamas is planning what it calls the “million men march,” and expectations are that a large number of casualties along the Gaza border could ignite riots in Jerusalem as well. Three days later, Friday will mark the first Friday of Ramadan, as thousands of Muslims are expected to pack the Temple Mount.
The IDF and the police have stepped up their deployment in all the sectors – along the Gaza border, Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria – in parallel to the ongoing alert on Israel’s northern border as well.
The peak in confrontations is expected on Monday and Tuesday, though, when the Arabs mourn their “Catastrophe.” Arab sources predict a million marchers in the Gaza Strip; the IDF is expecting about a hundred Thousand, who could reach the fence. Israeli forces are preparing for the possibility of the rioting mob trying to break across the border fence, in an effort to reach Israeli communities in the Gaza vicinity.
The big question is how many Arabs will respond to calls to arrive and confront IDF forces on Monday and Tuesday in Judea and Samaria and in Gaza, along the lines of confrontation with security forces. Five confrontation points are expected to emerge in the Gaza Strip, as well as attempts to reach the Gaza side of the Erez crossing, to inflict more damage there.
Local criticism has been heard over the past 24 hours, from within the Gaza Strip, against the rioters who set fire to Kerem Shalom, and Hamas, which ostensibly sent them. A member of the Palestinian National Council in the Gaza Strip called the Kerem Shalom arson “a satanic plan of Hamas.” The plan, satanic or not, has already had its implications: over the last 24 hours there has been an increase in prices for basic commodities, and Gazan traders are telling their customers prices will keep rising in the coming days.