Israel’s armed forces around Gaza are at peak readiness for Hamas’ “March of the Million” on Friday and Saturday, March 30-31. On Thursday, the IDF further ramped up the force piling up on the Gaza border with additional ground troops and artillery units.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the Egyptian intelligence officers shuttling between Tel Aviv and Gaza City for days failed to broker an agreement for an Israeli-Hamas truce. Neither party was willing to make commitments as to its response should the “March of the Million” rage out of control. Hamas adamantly refused to guarantee that the mass demonstration would be peaceful, or to rein in attacks on Israeli troops like those which have plagued southern Israel in the past year. Neither would the Palestinian terrorist group ruling the Gaza Strip agree to halt its incendiary balloon assaults on Israeli civilian locations or even rocket fire. Israel’s answer was to refuse to make any promises about how the IDF would respond if Hamas’ and allied groups’ violent conduct continued.