Since the end of March 2018 the Gaza-Israel border has witnessed repeated violent eruptions on a significant scale. Under the banner of a “Great March of Return”—invoking the core Palestinian demand for repatriation of refugees to Israel—thousands of Gazans have been gathering along the border every Friday. There, they have been demonstrating against Israel, physically challenging the border fence, and threatening to infiltrate Israel’s territory en masse. In addition, hundreds of incendiary kites and helium balloons, some with attached explosives, have been flown into Israel, causing massive fires. While the border clashes have scaled downward in recent weeks, the tensions between Hamas and Israel escalated to a series of duels involving rocketfire from Gaza and Israeli airstrikes, raising the risks that the parties could find themselves in yet another military confrontation.
Brigadier General (res.) Michael Herzog is a Senior Visiting Fellow at BICOM.
Read the full paper at the Washington Institute.