The Israeli military is reinforcing positions near the border of the Gaza Strip ahead of protests that are planned on Wednesday. According to Haaretz, Israeli officers and soldiers were instructed to respond “more aggressively” to any attempted border breaches than the military did during demonstrations that were held Saturday.
On Saturday, thousands of Palestinians demonstrated near Gaza’s eastern border. Israeli snipers were deployed to the border and fired live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas. Over 40 Palestinians were wounded, including 24 children, and one Israeli sniper was injured.
The Israeli sniper was shot in the head at close range while firing on Palestinians. A video circulated online shows an individual firing a handgun into an opening in the Gaza border separation wall where the sniper’s rifle was firing from.
According to The Times of Israel, investigators “believe a series of mistakes” led to the gunman being able to reach the sniper’s position. With this in mind, the Israeli military is beefing up its forces and preparing a harsher response.
It is because of Saturday’s incident that Israel says it is preparing for a harsher response. “In recent days, troops have been preparing massively, as specific plans were being approved, drills were performed at different points and reviews were held in the field. IDF troops will act aggressively against attempts at terror along the border,” the Israeli military said in a statement.
Israeli snipers have a history of gunning down protesters at the Gaza border. During the Great March of Return protests from 2018 to 2019, Israeli snipers killed over 200 Palestinians, including children, paramedics, journalists, and disabled people, and tens of thousands more were wounded.