Palestinian scheme for mass charge on Gaza-Israel border collapses

debkafile reports: The Palestinian masses did not rise to the summons for 40,000 individuals to turn out Monday, Feb. 25 and draw a human chain along the 40-km border Gazan-Israel to protest the Israeli blockade. Deterred by determined Israeli military preparations to halt their approach to the border and Israeli ministers’ threats to shoot them in the legs if necessary,” only a few demonstrators obeyed the summons. A disturbance by few dozen Palestinians was put down by Israeli border guards, one of whom was slightly injured. The large numbers stayed away when they realized Israel was resolved to forcibly thwart a repeat of Hamas’ success a month ago when they knocked over the Egyptian border to open the gate for a massed Palestinian surge into Sinai.
Sunday night, acting PM foreign minister Tzipi Livni and defense minister Ehud Barak pledged Israeli territory would be defended against infiltration to its sovereign borders. “Hamas is directly responsible for activity which puts civilian population at jeopardy – and not for the first time,” said the statement.
Israel army and police forces, heavily reinforced, deployed in two defensive lines to shield the border and Israeli civilian locations facing Gaza.
Overnight, the air force struck armed Palestinian bands as they streamed from all parts of the Gaza Strip to seize battle positions on the border. Air Force and police helicopters scattered on launching pads the length of the Gaza border, armed with tear gas for crowd dispersal.
Israel also geared up against Palestinian terrorists accessing tunnels burrowed under the border to strike Israeli forces from the rear and batter the border barrier from the Israeli side. Five of those tunnels were discovered Sunday and 50 Palestinian operatives detained for questioning about Palestinian terror tunnel plots.

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