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Israel Deploys 100 Special Forces Snipers To Gaza Border Ahead Of Palestine Protest

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Anders Hagstrom Justice Reporter
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The Israeli military has deployed more than 100 special forces snipers to the Gaza border in anticipation of the Palestinian “Land Day” protests expected to take place Friday.

Gadi Eizenkot, the nation’s top general, made the announcement in a press conference Wednesday. Thousands of Palestinians are expected to engage in mass protest against what they view as an Israeli occupation. Eizenkot confirmed the snipers have been issued rules of engagement that could result in the use of lethal force.

“We have deployed more than 100 sharpshooters who were called up from all of the military’s units, primarily from the special forces,” he said. “If lives are in jeopardy, there is permission to open fire.”

The Palestinian “Land Day” also coincides with the week-long Jewish holiday of Passover, during which Israel always ups its security. Land Day kicks off roughly two weeks of expected protests, which will continue until May 15, the day the following the anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel, the Independent Reported.

The two weeks are known in the Palestinian community as the “March for Return,” and organizers have promised it will remain peaceful. The military is taking precautions nevertheless. Israel has fended off weekly protests and riots along the Gaza border since President Donald Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December, according to The Times of Israel.

Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces in Jerusalem and parts of the West Bank in early December after calls for a “Day of Rage” in response to Trump’s decision.

Israel has always considered Jerusalem its undivided capital, and the city has been the seat of Israeli government since 1948. Palestinians, however, consider East Jerusalem, which has been occupied by Israel since 1967, to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Trump’s decision to officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital makes the U.S the only other country in the world to do so. While Trump says the move will not alter U.S. support for a two-state solution, critics claim it will derail the peace process and undermine U.S. claims to be an honest broker of peace talks.

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