Protesters are expected to gather in tent camps along the border after the Muslim noon prayer on Friday. The mass rallies for a right of return of millions of Palestinian refugees to what is now Israel will last for six weeks and are said to be organized by Hamas and Hamas-allied factions.
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"We will not allow the Hamas leadership to remain in Gaza by sending women and children to the border fence. If needed, we will respond to those behind these demonstrations both at the border and in Gaza. There is one task — to prevent a massive breach of the fence, disruption of public order," Manelis said in a statement.
For decades, Israel has been in conflict with the Palestinians, who have been seeking diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which are partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip.