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Sunday, February 24, 2008

IDF bracing for breach of Gaza 'fence'

The IDF is bracing for a possible attempt by 'unarmed Palestinians' to breach the Gaza 'security fence' to protest Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip after gasoline for non-emergency vehicles allegedly ran out this weekend and diesel is said to be in short supply.
The main fear in Israel is that residents of the Strip will force their way through the crossings and that IDF attempts to contain the crowd will result in massive casualties.

Over the weekend, the military scrambled large forces to the Gaza border in anticipation of civilian unrest following the end of fuel supplies.

Immigration Absorption Minister Ya'acov Edri (Kadima) said Sunday that the government was ready for any scenario resulting from Palestinians trying to breach the border crossings.
Haaretz adds:
Hamas declared Saturday as an international day of protest against the siege. Anti-Israel rallies were held in a number of Arab and European countries. Thousands of Palestinians attended the main demonstration in Gaza City, marching to the United Nations headquarters. The IDF deployed a number of battalions near the fence in the northern Strip to prepare for possible Palestinian attempts to breach the border.

The IDF Gaza Brigade has been conducting exercises simulating mass civilian marches, outfitting the soldiers with riot-control gear. The army is concerned that Palestinians may try to take over crossings on the Israel-Gaza Strip border, and that Hamas intends to march them into a Jewish community near Gaza.

Military sources cite the "Hezbollah precedent": The sign that the buffer zone in southern Lebanon was collapsing on the eve of the IDF's withdrawal in May 2000 came when the Southern Lebanese Army abandoned the Taybeh post and hundreds of unarmed Lebanese civilians marched on it.

Meanwhile, Gaza residents Saturday told Haaretz that their cars are "stuck" and they are using taxis or wagons hitched to donkeys. "At most of the gas stations you can't find diesel either," Imad, a Gaza resident, said.

Security officials told Haaretz they are meeting their pledge to the Supreme Court to transfer fuel for emergency vehicles, approximately 75,000 liters a week.
And this is the 'secure' fence between Israel and Gaza. Can you imagine a similar scenario in Judea and Samaria where - due to the topography - the fence can never be as secure?


DEBKA has more details of what's planned by the 'Palestinians' tomorrow:
DEBKAfile’s military sources report Hamas is engineering a “popular” protest to be much more violent than the Jan. 23 Palestinian surge into Egypt through the border wall smashed by its bulldozers.

Behind the human shield of women, children and elderly leading the assault on Monday, Hamas, Jihad Islami and Fatah are expected to shoot, send in suicide bombers and unleash a Qassam barrage. If Israeli forces are goaded into opening fire, civilian casualties may be heavy enough to draw international condemnation. If they hold back, the Palestinian terrorists will capture the border fence and knock it over.

By preventing a full-scale military operation against the Palestinian missile and terror campaign from Gaza and imposing a siege instead, prime minister Ehud Olmert and defense minister Ehud Barak have left the initiative with Hamas which exploits it to the hilt.

DEBKAfile reports “human chain which will “demonstrate” along the border from the Rafah terminal in the south to Erez in the north is organized by the Committee for Breaking the Israeli Siege headed by Hamas, although the terrorist group’s spokesmen claimed it is a “spontaneous” protest against the Israeli blockade.
The IDF is prepared. The question is whether the 'political echelon' will allow them to act.


At 7:15 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The jury's still out on what Israel's leaders value most - international opinion, or defending Israel's existence? Its a question that shouldn't have to come up except for the hesitant and temporizing response of the Olmert-Barak-Livni government.
Nothing in their records says they are going to lay down a marker to the enemy. No wonder Israel is reacting and Hamas has the offensive advantage.

At 8:33 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


Unfortunately, I think the jury has decided. Israel's current leadership values international opinion far more than defending Israel's existence.

At 2:51 AM, Blogger Thud said...

I can't believe how rapidly Israels situation is worsening...will anything shake your govt from their torpor?

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...


Only a threat to their hold on power.

At 7:46 AM, Blogger Freedom Fighter said...

Lay a clearly posted mine field.
If the Pals are stoopid enough to try to cross and get blown to bits, it's their lookout.

(BTW, India did this in Kashmir with notable success..it works better than a fence in some places.


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