02:03 GMT +316 October 2018
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    Israeli Merkava tanks roll near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip as they return from the Hamas-controlled Palestinian coastal enclave on August 5, 2014

    Israeli Army Says Could Hit Hamas If Border With Gaza Breached During Rallies

    © AFP 2018 / THOMAS COEX
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    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - The Israeli army will hit a military wing of the Hamas movement if participants of an upcoming mass demonstration breach the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip and enter the Israeli territory, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis said Thursday.

    Protesters are expected to gather in tent camps along the border after the Muslim noon prayer on Friday. The mass rallies for a right of return of millions of Palestinian refugees to what is now Israel will last for six weeks and are said to be organized by Hamas and Hamas-allied factions.

    READ MORE: Israel Defense Forces Hit Hamas Targets in Gaza Strip

    "We will not allow the Hamas leadership to remain in Gaza by sending women and children to the border fence. If needed, we will respond to those behind these demonstrations both at the border and in Gaza. There is one task — to prevent a massive breach of the fence, disruption of public order," Manelis said in a statement.

    IDF Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot told local media on Wednesday that Israel had deployed 100 snipers on the Gaza border ahead of the rallies.

    For decades, Israel has been in conflict with the Palestinians, who have been seeking diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which are partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip.

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    Tags:
    rallies, border, Israel Defense Forces (IDF), Hamas, Gaza Strip, Israel
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