Thousands of Palestinians protested along the Israeli-Gazan border on Friday, February 22, in what marked the 48th consecutive Friday demonstration as part of the "Great March of Return" movement. Palestinian organizers of the protests encouraged Palestinians to demonstrate on the border to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Cave of the Patriarchs massacre. At least one Palestinian teenager was killed by Israeli live fire on Friday; some 40 other protesters were wounded. Some Palestinian demonstrators attempted to hurl explosive devices at Israeli troops, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
On a related note, Israeli forces arrested some 60 Palestinians in East Jerusalem on Thursday night (local time), February 21, for suspected incitement ahead of Friday prayers at the Temple Mount (Al-Haram Al-Sharif). Hundreds of Palestinians reportedly broke into the the Bab Al-Rahma area on Friday, disobeying an Israeli ban on Muslim worship at the site.
Heightened tensions, demonstrations, and clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians are to be expected along the Israeli-Gazan border and East Jerusalem over the coming weeks, particularly on Fridays.
Palestinian protesters have rallied at the Gaza border fence since March 30, 2018, in a Hamas-supported movement dubbed "The Great March of Return." Over 220 Palestinians and one Israeli have been killed in associated clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian protesters.
Individuals in Israel and the Palestinian Territories are advised to monitor developments to the situation and to avoid all protests and demonstrations due to the risk of violence. Some Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and areas near the Israeli-Lebanese, Israeli-Syrian, and Israeli-Egyptian borders.
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