Anniversary of 1967 War Fuels Extra Concerns along Gaza Strip – Israel Border
The anniversary of the 1967 “Six-Day” war is feared to be the catalyst that could ignite a major confrontation between Israeli army forces and terrorists from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Gaza-based fighters with civilians paying a price. Coming after seven weeks of clashes and well over 100 deaths – many of which bordered on the sacrificial or suicidal – security officials see the 50th anniversary of Israel’s conquering of Gaza, the West Bank, the Golan Heights and east Jerusalem as the setting for the most violent display yet. Reports from Gaza indicate the greatest thrust is being saved for Friday, featuring what is being billed as “The March of the Million for Jerusalem” and described as a mass effort to push down the border fence and continue on to Jerusalem. Israeli security, though, warns that will not be allowed to happen. Hamas has been trying for months to infiltrate the border, send its teams to a Jewish community, kill as many as possible and capture others. With no known crowd control measure sufficient to handle such numbers, the many snipers armed with live ammunition who will line up on Israel’s front line could easily surpass the 130 Palestinians who have died since the “March of Return” – a reference to the Palestinian goal of re-claim property lost when Israel achieved statehood in 1948. Referring to intense international criticism of Israel’s handling of the situation, speaking at The Media Line’s annual Press-and-Policy Breakfast on Monday, American Ambassador to Israel David M. Friedman challenged Israel’s critics to suggest any method that would be effective and obviate the need for snipers. Palestinians have been successful inflicting serious damage to thousands of acres of agricultural farmland set on fire by incendiary kites dropping flaming payloads into the fields.