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Visiting Gaza border, Gantz warns of military action if protests turn violent

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz meets with officers at the military's Gaza Division on August 3, 2021. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)
Illustrative: Defense Minister Benny Gantz meets with officers at the military's Gaza Division on August 3, 2021. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz visits the Gaza border, meeting with the top military brass there, ahead of a planned demonstration along the border by Palestinians in the enclave.

Gantz issues an ultimatum to Palestinians in the Strip, offering additional aid if calm is maintained and threatening military strikes if violence again breaks out on the frontier, as occurred on Saturday when dozens of rioters rushed the security fence, including a man with a pistol who opened fire into an Israeli sniper position, shot an Israeli border guard in the head and critically injured him.

“Our ‘toolbox’ is filling – we have increased capabilities in terms of aid and development of the Gaza Strip for the benefit of over 2 million Gaza residents, and also in terms of the military plans that we are developing, should we be required to take action. The reality on the ground will determine which of these tools we will choose to employ,” Gantz says in a statement following his visit.

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