Organizers of the "Great March of Return" are calling on Gazans to participate in mass protests to mark the anniversary of the movement on Saturday, March 30, with large demonstrations also expected at the Gazan-Israeli border fence on Friday, March 29. Protest organizers claim that an estimated 1 million people will take part in the marches. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) will deploy additional troops along the border at protest locations. Clashes with security forces, including the use of live ammunition, tear gas, and projectiles, is expected. Airborne incendiary devices and rockets targeting southern and central Israel cannot be ruled out and a strong IDF response is also possible.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to strongly retaliate for a rocket attack targeting central Israel on Monday, March 29, that wounded seven people. Netanyahu is seeking reelection in parliamentary general elections on April 9.
Palestinian protesters have rallied weekly at the Gaza border fence since March 30, 2018. More than 260 Palestinians have been killed during these protests and an estimated 29,000 more have been wounded.
Individuals in Israel and Gaza are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all protests and large demonstrations due to the risk of violence, and seek shelter in the event of airstrikes or rockets. Some Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and Israeli border regions.
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