Published: 2018-07-20 14:17
Last Updated: 2018-07-21 11:17
Dozens of Palestinians headed to the Israel-Gaza border fence to demonstrate against the Israeli blockade on the Strip on Friday, in what is seen as a key test of whether the two sides can retreat from a seemingly inevitable march towards war.
Israeli authorities were hoping to avoid a repeat of heavy cross-border violence on Friday and Saturday, a week after Gazan protests snowballed into some of the heaviest fighting on the volatile frontier in years.
Israeli authorities have maintained that they are prepared to invade Gaza and go to war over the glazing balloons.
“We see in the newspapers that you don’t go to war over kites and fires. However, any reasonable person who sees a natural grove burned or thousands of dunams of agricultural fields scorched understands that this situation is unreasonable,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said at a press conference on Friday.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was already in a “military campaign,” as troops nearby drilled for an invasion of Gaza City.
The army said the exercise had been planned in advance and was unconnected to recent events.