IDF raises alert level ahead of Land Day protests (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Jack Khoury and Gili Cohen 03/30/12)
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The Israel Defense Forces has raised its alert level ahead of
anticipated protests at Israel’s borders and West Bank checkpoints
during Land Day, being marked today in commemoration of a government
plan to expropriate Arab lands.
The IDF has deployed troops ahead of a solidarity event calling for
protest marches up to the Israeli border, called Global March to
Jerusalem, and pro-Palestinian protests, expected mainly at the
Qalandiyah checkpoint north of Jerusalem and the Rachel checkpoint in
Sources in the IDF Northern Command said no demonstrations were
expected on the Syrian border because of the domestic situation in
that country, but that protests were expected on the Lebanese border.
The Southern Command expected protests mainly at the Erez and Karni
Forces have been briefed on rules of engagement and have been ordered
to act with restraint but to protect the border and not to allow
protesters to cross it as they did last year.
The Israeli-Arab community will mark Land Day today beginning with a
wreath-laying ceremony at a monument in the Galilee town of Sakhnin
to the six people killed in clashes on the first Land Day in 1976.
The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, an umbrella group of Arab
parties and political movements, said expropriations of land
continue, that “the struggle this year will be an uncompromising one
of life and death,” and that the government must abandon the so-
called Prawer plan involving the removal of Bedouin from land in the
After the wreath-laying ceremony in Sakhnin local marches will be
held through Sakhnin, Arabeh and Kfar Cana.
A central message of today’s Land Day rallies will be a call for the
expansion of the municipal boundaries of Arab communities and
approval of master plans to alleviate a severe housing shortage.
The main processions through Sakhnin, Arabeh and Deir Hanna will take
place within the communities and on the roads linking them. As has
become the practice in recent years, police deploy outside the towns
and there is practically no police presence in the towns during the
The northern district police said it expected the day’s events to
pass peacefully. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 03/30/12)
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