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Storming the border on 'Nakba' Day'
Photo: AFP

IDF gearing for next wave of Palestinian protests

Security forces ready for riots, mass marches on Israel's borders as part of Palestinian 'Naksa Day' marking 44th anniversary of Six Day War

IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz has ordered the increased deployment of security forces across all Israel's borders starting Friday and pending the conclusion of all "Naksa Day" events.

 

The Palestinians are planning a series of events to mark "Naksa Day" – the 44th anniversary of the Six Day War – starting Sunday.

 

Most disconcerting, as far as Israel is concerned, are calls by pro-Palestinian supporters – issued mostly on social media website – for Palestinians to march on and possibly storm all of Israel's borders.

 

 

Israel wishes avoid a reoccurrence of the events of "Nakba Day," and since Military Intelligence indicates that Syrian and Lebanese elements plane to mobilize thousands of people for the sake of trying to rush the northern borders, the IDF has increased the order of battle on the ground in all sectors, and especially in the Northern Command.

 

The forces have been issues large amount of crowd-control measures, and all rules of engagement protocols have been reiterated. The message, however, is clear: While Israel will strive to avoid casualties, security forces will be able to open fire on anyone illegally crossing the border.

 

The past few weeks have also the northern border fence revamped and mine-fields re-laid in its vicinity.

 

The IDF reiterated that Israel's borders with Syria and Lebanon are restricted military zones, adding that civilians were absolutely forbidden from approaching them, "For fear for their safety."

 

Lebanon has done the same with its side of the border.

 

All systems go

Intelligence also indicates possible problems involving Israel's embassies, particularly in Egypt and Jordan. Israeli security officials are working closely with their counterpart in these countries to foil any threat.

 

Still, the defense establishment expects the West Bank to be the scene where the worst "Naksa Day" events manifest. The GOC Central Command has been working in tandem with the Palestinian security establishment to prevent protests rallies from turning into riots, or attempted storming of nearby military bases, settlements or the security fence.

 

Here too, the forces on the ground are under very clear orders: Any such attempt would be considered "crossing a red line" thus enabling troops to respond using live fire.

 

The IDF, Shin Bet and Police are all gearing for the possibility of terror attacks, which would undoubtedly inflame tensions between Jews and Arabs even further.

 

The police have increased deployment in all sectors and especially in Jerusalem, as some social media websites are urging masses to march on the city as well.

 

Yossi Yehoshua, Itamar Eichner, Roni Shaked and Yaron Doron contributed to this report

 

 


פרסום ראשון: 06.03.11, 11:29
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