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IDF sends reinforcements to Gaza Division ahead of planned demonstration

The IDF has reinforced the Gaza Division ahead of rallies planned for Wednesday by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The reinforcements include two units of special forces, an armored company and snipers, the IDF said Tuesday.

“IDF forces will act vigorously in the face of terrorist attempts at the fence,” it said.

The decision to reinforce the Gaza Division came following a situational assessment led by OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Eliezer Toledano. During the meeting, officers discussed the location of various forces, procedures for opening fire and approved operational plans.

The meeting took place ahead of a rally the Palestinians have called “The Sword of Jerusalem shall not be sheathed,” a reference to Hamas’s name for the fighting that took place in May.

The IDF is preparing for a variety of scenarios, including violent riots along the perimeter fence, the launching of incendiary balloons and rocket fire toward Israeli communities.

“The IDF will respond strongly to terrorist attempts and hold the Hamas terrorist organization responsible for everything that is happening in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said.

Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli forces during a protest at the Israel-Gaza border, east of Gaza City, on August 21, 2021. (credit: ABED RAHIM KHATIB/FLASH90)

On Saturday, during a violent riot along the Gaza perimeter fence, Border Police officer Bar-el Shmueli was shot in the head by a Hamas terrorist who approached his position and shot Shmueli with a handgun.

Shmueli underwent several operations at Soroka-University Medical Center in Beersheba and was in critical condition, intubated and sedated.

Following criticism that no senior IDF officer came to the hospital, Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi and Toledano visited his bedside on Tuesday.

More than 41 Palestinians, including 10 children, were injured during the demonstrations, the Gaza Strip’s Health Ministry reported. Among them were a 13-year-old boy who was hit in the head east of Gaza City, someone who was hit in the neck with a rubber bullet, a woman and a journalist, it said.

Gaza is engaged in an open military confrontation with Israel with the aim of putting pressure to end the 11-year blockade on the coastal enclave, Palestinian Islamic Jihad spokesman Daoud Shehab said Tuesday.

“The Palestinian resistance looks at what is happening today in Jerusalem and the attacks in the West Bank, and it always has its hand on the trigger,” he was quoted as saying by the Palestinian Ma’an news agency.

“The resistance is following all of this and is ready and ready in case the occupation tries to change the rules of engagement,” Shehab said, adding that groups in the Gaza Strip are “ready to respond to any aggression.”

Israeli defense officials believe Hamas is ready for another round of fighting. It has said it is satisfied with the outcome of Operation Guardian of the Walls, but Hamas’s rocket arsenal was not hit as hard as it would have liked.

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