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Tensions high along Gaza-Israel border as Palestinians call for 'Friday of Fire'

Tensions on both sides of the Gaza-Israel border are high as Palestinians in Gaza call for a "Friday of Fire."...

Posted: Apr 6, 2018 9:57 AM
Updated: Apr 6, 2018 9:57 AM

Tensions on both sides of the Gaza-Israel border are high as Palestinians in Gaza call for a "Friday of Fire."

Israel will not change its rules of engagement ahead of the "March of Return" planned for Friday in Gaza.

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned those who do not abide by the rules "will be shot," speaking on Israeli Army Radio late Wednesday.

Palestinians are bracing for potential violence; Israel also expects more violence on Friday.

"It is going to be another bloody weekend," Israel's former counterterrorism chief Brigadier General (Reserve) Nitzan Nuriel told reporters. "We have Hamas who are armed trying to push it a bit more than we can accept." He reiterated that the border is a red line. "Those who will be close to the fence, we will see them as a target," Nuriel said. "They should demonstrate without crossing those red lines. If they do, the price will be very high." Israel blames Hamas and Islamic Jihad for the violence, and warned it will strike deep inside Gaza if provoked.

Thousands of tires have been readied to set alight on the Gaza side of the border in order to create curtains of black smoke and obscure the sights of Israeli snipers.

Since Wednesday morning, bulldozers have been constructing dirt berms at a location near the border.

Gazans at the temporary northern Abu Safia tent camp built last weekend say it's to protect protesters.

"Friday of Fire," as it's been dubbed, will be the second in a sequence of marches planned to continue through mid-May.

The goal of the marches, Palestinians say, is to cross the border fence and return to their lands that became Israel seven decades ago.

Last Friday's march on the fence ended in violent confrontations, in what was the deadliest day in Gaza since the 2014 Gaza Israel war. Seventeen Palestinians were killed, and another two succumbed to their injuries a few days later. Israeli forces fired on marchers it said participated in violence.

Significantly smaller scale confrontations continued through the week, resulting in numerous incidents on land and extending to the sea. Israeli naval forces shot at a Palestinian fishing boat to force it into the "designated (6 mile) fishing zone," according to an Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) statement. Three fishermen were moderately injured, said the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza.

Other deadly incidents took place during the week, bringing the total death toll in one week to 20.

A Palestinian died following an overnight Israeli air strike Wednesday, the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza reported. The IDF said it targeted an "armed terrorist adjacent to the security fence" in northern Gaza.

Israel holds Hamas responsible for the events in Gaza, and says most of those killed are "known terror activists" from Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Palestinians and human rights organizations accuse Israel of using excessive and illegal force on what they described as peaceful protesters.

Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem launched a campaign called "Sorry Commander, I cannot shoot" urging Israeli soldiers to refuse to shoot protesters. The organization says it is taking this step after "soldiers used live fire against unarmed demonstrators," which it says is illegal.

The Israeli defense minister called the organization a group of "fifth columnists."

The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov, urged Israeli forces and Palestinians to exercise restraint, saying "demonstrations and protests must be allowed to proceed in a peaceful manner. Civilians, particularly children, must not be intentionally put in danger or targeted in any way."

Palestinian activists and the IDF continue to post social media videos to support their opposing claims about last week's violent events.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 295295

Reported Deaths: 6724
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto19672230
Hinds18799386
Harrison16710278
Rankin12685264
Jackson12592226
Lee9687160
Madison9457199
Jones7962146
Forrest7208136
Lauderdale6833226
Lowndes6022137
Lamar588080
Lafayette5733113
Washington5218130
Bolivar4609123
Oktibbeha441393
Panola430394
Pearl River4167130
Warren4129114
Pontotoc408869
Marshall403192
Monroe3989126
Union395374
Neshoba3807168
Lincoln3541102
Hancock347374
Leflore3375118
Sunflower318386
Tate302474
Pike300195
Scott293870
Alcorn291861
Itawamba289975
Yazoo289262
Tippah278765
Copiah277857
Coahoma277568
Simpson274878
Prentiss269758
Wayne253841
Marion252678
Leake252471
Covington248879
Grenada247377
Adams234377
George231745
Newton229652
Winston221675
Jasper213445
Tishomingo212365
Attala206569
Chickasaw201151
Holmes182270
Clay179150
Stone172429
Tallahatchie170539
Clarke169371
Calhoun157828
Smith152731
Yalobusha144836
Greene127633
Walthall124140
Noxubee122829
Montgomery122438
Perry121634
Lawrence120321
Carroll118225
Amite111533
Webster110630
Jefferson Davis101731
Tunica99023
Claiborne98429
Benton93324
Humphreys92827
Kemper90223
Quitman77114
Franklin76119
Choctaw69516
Jefferson62527
Wilkinson62426
Sharkey48817
Issaquena1676
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 493769

Reported Deaths: 9931
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson710731374
Mobile36139727
Madison32425455
Tuscaloosa24184410
Montgomery22586500
Shelby21968215
Baldwin19758283
Lee14967153
Morgan13667251
Calhoun13300286
Etowah13184319
Marshall11262209
Houston10104261
Elmore9385185
Limestone9363134
Cullman8897181
St. Clair8827223
Lauderdale8607211
DeKalb8459175
Talladega7523163
Walker6524255
Jackson6495102
Autauga627091
Blount6102127
Colbert6004118
Coffee5249102
Dale4642107
Russell404930
Franklin399177
Covington3960106
Chilton3876100
Escambia377672
Tallapoosa3588142
Clarke343650
Chambers3413110
Dallas3403141
Pike293472
Lawrence283484
Marion281995
Winston246867
Bibb245060
Geneva239970
Marengo236455
Pickens224654
Barbour211651
Hale210568
Fayette200756
Butler196866
Henry182441
Cherokee177038
Monroe166139
Randolph163740
Washington156535
Crenshaw144854
Clay144454
Macon142043
Cleburne137839
Lamar132833
Lowndes131151
Wilcox121825
Bullock116936
Conecuh106724
Perry105627
Sumter98531
Coosa88923
Greene88232
Choctaw55123
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