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Israel authorizes snipers to use live ammo against Palestinian protesters

Israeli forces take aim during clashes with Palestinian protesters following a demonstration against Israeli occupation in the Palestinian town of al-Bireh on the outskirts of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank on November 29, 2015. (Photo by AFP)

The Israeli military has deployed 100 snipers with the authority to use live rounds on the Gaza border as part of its crackdown on planned Palestinian demonstrations.

“We have deployed more than 100 sharpshooters who were called up from all of the military’s units, primarily from the special forces,” said the Israeli army's chief of staff, Lieutenant-General Gadi Eizenkot, in an interview published on Wednesday in the Yedioth Ahronoth daily.

He added that the snipers and other troops deployed in the region are authorized to use "a lot of force" and live ammunition to keep the protesters away from the fence along the besieged Gaza Strip.

A man hangs a Palestinian flag at an electric pole near the fence with the occupied Palestinian territories, in the southern Gaza Strip, March 28, 2018. (Photo by Reuters)

Palestinians will commence a massive rally on the occasion of the Land Day and the 70th anniversary of the expulsion of Palestinians from their land on Friday.

Tens of thousands of Gazans are expected to take part in the peaceful "March of Return."

Land Day has become an occasion where annual protests are held. Protesters say the event is a wake-up call and a reminder that Palestinians will always defend their land by all possible means in the face of Israeli occupation and violence.

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