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Gaza Militants In Display of Force As Cease-Fire Deadline Looms

Palestinian fighters dressed in fatigues, balaclavas and carrying high-powered rifles said they remained defiant less than a mile from Israel.

GAZA STRIP — In an olive grove less than a mile from the border with Israel, fighters dressed in fatigues, balaclavas and carrying high-powered rifles displayed what looked like sniper fox holes fashioned out of large water pipes. Three militants from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) jammed inside along with a sniper to demonstrate how effective deadly ambushes could be. "In a place similar to this one, occupation forces were engaged and a soldier was shot and killed," the 28-year-old leader of the small team said.

With less than 24 hours left in the temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, which governs the embattled Gaza Strip, the DFLP made a rare demonstration of battlefield tactics. The group is much smaller than Hamas, but as with all militants in the enclave, their actions are in lockstep with Gaza's leadership. Earlier in a residential building in Gaza City, the fighters had displayed what they said were remnants of a deadly attack on Israeli forces. Israeli uniforms, bullet rounds, small U.S.-made explosives and what appeared to be pieces of an armored vehicle were spread out across two tables. "This is a message to the Israeli army, or whatever is left of the Israeli Army," a DFLP fighter said. "If you wanted to attack Gaza, even at the border, this will be your fate." An Israeli spokesman confirmed that there had been an attack on the highly decorated Golani Brigade on July 20, but it was impossible to confirm whether the items were actually from the same incident.


— Stephanie Gosk