The Israeli Defence Forces have arrested five armed Palestinians that crossed into Israel territory from Gaza this week ahead of a major planned protest organised by Hamas at the fence this Friday. The Israel Defence Forces captured three Palestinians on Tuesday morning after they crossed the Gaza security fence armed with grenades and knives, and journeyed approximately 12 miles into Israeli territory. Another two Palestinians equipped with a knife and wire cutters broke the security fence around Gaza on Thursday, one of many incidents this week despite the army being on high alert in the area.
The three suspects that were arrested on Tuesday morning are reportedly from the same family in southern Gaza, from the city of Rafah.
The infiltration came as Israel continues to tighten its security along the border ahead of protests scheduled for Friday, which security officials worrying that a number of Palestinians might try to breach the boundary.
The Hamas terror group have arranged the protest, being held under the banner of “March of Return.” Palestinians are preparing to build a tent city from the Gaza security fence and have called on tens of thousands of Gaza residents to participate. The protests will last for six weeks until May 15, the day after the anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel, known to Palestinians as the ‘Nakba’, or ‘catastrophe’.
Palestinians from Gaza frequently attempt to cross into Israel, but they are usually spotted instantly by soldiers who monitor security cameras and are rapidly arrested on the Israeli side of the fence.
Last Saturday, four disguised Palestinian men cut through the security fence in southern Gaza and entered into Israeli territory. They attempted to set fire to the engineering equipment being used to construct a barrier intended to counter efforts by terror groups creating tunnels into Israel.