The army's chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, said in interviews Wednesday ahead of the planned protests of an estimated 100,000 Palestinians and another six weeks of protests that soldiers could use live fire if the protesters breach the security barrier between Gaza and Israel and if it is determined that Israeli lives are in danger. On Friday morning, a Palestinian farmer was killed by Israeli tank fire near Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.
To deal with the upcoming protests, Israeli security forces have prepared for a variety of possible scenarios, According to media reports, preparations have included employing UAVs to spray tear gas on the protesters, while several "creative" solutions have been suggested including an airdrop of food and medicine into the center of Gaza, in hopes that it would distract and dissuade civilians from taking part in the protests.
Two explosive devices were detonated Thursday along the border, which had already provoked Israeli attacks on Hamas positions.
As Palestinian protesters are already gathering near the Gaza border fence, the IDF has ordered its soldiers to fire in case protesters attempt to cross the fence into Israel.
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are planning to begin a six-week tent city protest to demand Palestinian refugees be allowed to return to what is now Israel.
Israel's military said ahead of the protests that it doubled its standard troop level along the border, deploying snipers, special forces and paramilitary border police units, which specialize in riot control.
It comes just hours before the start of a major demonstration, which is set to kick off six weeks of protests leading up to the inauguration of the new United States embassy in Jerusalem around May 14. "We heard shelling landing on the field where Amr works".
Tents have been pitched by Palestinians in five locations on the edge of the buffer zone near the border.
The annual Land Day, which coincides with the start of Jewish Passover, marks the anniversary of the general strike and marches organised on March 30, 1976, in protest at the expropriation of land by Israel for security reasons.
Water facilities were being installed and medical teams deployed to allow people to stay for long periods.
Organisers said tens of thousands of people would attend Friday's protest, although it was not clear they reached their estimate. "Seventy years ago we left and today we have made a decision to return to our country", he told AFP.
Another organizer, Tahir Sawirki, told AFP Palestinians would gather Friday in groups representing the towns they left in 1948.
US President Donald Trump's recognition of the disputed city as Israel's capital in December has infuriated Palestinians, who claim its annexed eastern sector as the capital of their future state.