Israel warns Lebanon authorities ahead of planned Palestinian protests near border (HAŽARETZ NEWS) By Barak Ravid, Avi Issacharoff and Gili Cohen 03/25/12)
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Israel has asked Lebanon, using intermediaries, to stop its residents
from approaching the Israeli border on Friday as part of Land Day
protests. The forum of eight senior cabinet ministers will consider
security preparations in Israel and the West Bank when they meet
Protests are expected in the Gaza Strip, near the Erez border
crossing, and at West Bank sites such as the Qalandiyah checkpoint,
north of Jerusalem. But it is the prospect of people approaching from
the Lebanese side of the border in the north that has security
officials most worried.
On Nakba Day last May hundreds of people breached Israel´s border
with Syria. A repeat of that scenario for Land Day this year is
considered unlikely because of the unrest in that country. Jordanian
and Egyptian security forces will presumably patrol their respective
borders and prevent infiltration from their territories into Israel.
Land Day marks the loss of Arab lands in the Galilee. On the first
Land Day, in 1976, Israeli soldiers shot and killed six Arab
Evidence collected by Israeli authorities points to high-level
Iranian involvement in planning the protests in Lebanon. A media
adviser to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited Lebanon
about a week ago and approached the Israeli border fence. Ahmadinejad
met in Tehran recently with a large group of activists that is
expected to participate in the events near the border.
The Israel Defense Forces is closely monitoring developments.
Officials say an ongoing hunger strike by Palestinians in
administrative detention could intensify the protests. The IDF is
preparing for a scenario in which nonviolent protests spiral out of
control. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 03/25/12)
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