The directive: Open fire at Arabs who approach the fence

IDF soldiers preparing for "March of the Return" near the Gaza border. Soldiers instructed to use live ammunition but not as a first option.

Elad Benari ,

Gaza border
Gaza border
Flash 90

The IDF is deploying large forces around Gaza, ahead of the "March of the Return" organized by Hamas which is scheduled for Friday.

In the past two weeks, the forces have been training to prevent tens of thousands of Arabs from crossing the fence into Israel at the moment of truth.

Hadashot TV reported that the soldiers have received clear instructions - firing live ammunition at anyone approaching the security fence, but from the IDF's point of view, the use of live ammunition is not the first option. The soldiers will be permitted to open fire if the Arabs approach the fence in order to cross it and enter Israel.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Thursday evening that "because of the high level of alert all around the country, many soldiers will not go home for the holiday. I want to thank IDF soldiers for their dedication, professionalism and motivation. I am proud to be the defense minister of these soldiers. The people of Israel have someone to rely on."

Meanwhile, the IDF Spokesperson announced on Thursday that a general closure will be imposed on Palestinian Authority-assigned areas of Judea and Samaria and that the crossings to Gaza will be closed for Passover. They will re-open on Saturday, April 7, at midnight.

During the closure, passage will be permitted in humanitarian, medical and other exceptional cases, subject to the approval of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.