Netanyahu Regime Orders IDF to Attack Gaza if Demonstrations Continue
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)
Weekly Great March of Return demonstrations in Gaza since March 30 have been peaceful.
They've been met by extreme IDF violence, crimes of war and against humanity by any standard.
The Netanyahu regime bears full responsibility for killing over 200 Palestinians, injuring more than 22,000 others - from live fire, toxic tear gas, and other violent tactics by snipers and terror-bombings.
Throughout the period, no Israeli soldiers or civilians were harmed. Since establishment of the Jewish state, accountability for its repeated high crimes was never forthcoming - the world community largely turning a blind eye to them.
On Thursday, Israel's security cabinet ordered the IDF to escalate violence on Gaza if demonstrations continue - Palestinians involved to be attacked by live fire and other violent tactics no matter how peaceful or distant they are from the border fence.
Reportedly Israeli war minister Avigdor Lieberman urged greater harshness than what was agreed on. Minister Naftali Bennett called for toughness short of invasion and all-out war.
Ahead of Friday's demonstration, the IDF deployed large numbers of troops to the border area, including tanks and artillery. It's unclear how aggressively they'll be used.
Demonstrators are armed only with redoubtable courage, no weapons of any kind. If attacked more violently than earlier, a large-scale bloodbath is likely.
Ahead of Wednesday's meeting, Netanyahu said if weekly demonstrations continue, "we will stop them," vowing greater violence than so far.
Minister Yoav Galant said "the rules of the game are going to change," threatening escalated Israeli toughness short of war.
Hamas said it would respond to Israeli aggression "immediate(ly) and decisive(ly)."
Israel exercises control over virtually everything in Gaza, imposing illegal blockade and harsh restrictions on movement within and beyond its so-called buffer zone.
It bans access to areas hundreds of meters inside the border, including Gazan waters, severely restricting the legal rights of fishermen.
Buffer zone demarcations vary on Israeli toughness imposed. Nominally it extends from 100 to 1,500 meters across the land border area, from three to nine nautical miles at sea.
Buffer zone land closest to the border fence is some of Gaza's most arable, off-limits to farmers owning it, risking death or injury if enter it.
If weekly demonstrations continue, Israel will likely expand the buffer zone beyond its current demarcations, putting more Gazan land off-limits, Israeli forces attacking anyone entering or close it.
On Wednesday, a joint statement by Palestinian resistance groups on Israeli attacks on Gaza said the following:
"The Palestinian people have been involved in their peaceful battle against the Israeli occupation through the Great Return March, and we, in the Joint Operation Room of the Palestinian Resistance Factions, stand with our people who gather on a weekly basis to strive for their freedom and get their legitimate demands.
We, in the armed wings of the Palestinian factions, state that all factions will fight off the Israeli attempts to stop the mass peaceful protests by imposing strict rules of engagement.
The Joint Operation Room of the Palestinian Resistance Factions lauds the efforts exerted by Egypt to serve the Palestinians achieve their legitimate demands, and we reject any other attempt to undermine the Egyptian endeavors, including the launch of a rockets took place last night.
We explicitly stress that the armed wings of the Palestinian factions are prepared to defend the Palestinian people against any Israeli attacks, as we are nationally held responsible for the safety and security of our people.
At the same time, our guns will remain aimed at the face of our enemy."
Peaceful weekly protests are likely to continue. Israel vowed greater harshness against them.
Will naked aggression be waged on the Strip for the fourth time in the last decade?
It's likely given Israeli rage for extreme violence, the next war perhaps to be more destruction than earlier ones.
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