Land Day ends, IDF prepares for future clashes (JERUSALEM POST) By YAAKOV KATZ, OREN KESSLER 04/01/12)
JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-Top
The Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) ended Friday evening with minimal
violence but the IDF said it was already preparing for the next round
of clashes expected in mid-April.
One Palestinian was killed during clashes in the Gaza Strip where IDF
snipers shot at the legs of demonstrators who tried storming the Erez
Other hot spots included the Kalandiya crossing near Jerusalem and
Nabi Salih in the West Bank. Several dozen were injured in the West
Bank but mostly from tear gas.
Despite the relatively quiet outcome, IDF sources said they expected
additional – possibly more violent – demonstrations on a day that
commemorates Palestinian prisoners on April 17 as well as on Nakba
Day and Naksa Day in the coming months.
“There are still challenges ahead and violence could escalate in the
future,” a senior IDF officer said.
The GMJ general coordinator had promised “two million participants,”
but ultimately only a few thousand marchers showed up in the vicinity
of Israel’s borders, primarily in Jordan and Lebanon.
Israel had warned the governments of neighboring countries not to let
protesters approach its border, and the warning appears to have been
In Jordan, around 15,000 people assembled in the central Jordan
Valley near the Israeli border. The rally was led by the Muslim
Brotherhood, and also in attendance were four rabbis from Neturei
Karta, an anti-Zionist ultra- Orthodox movement.
Protesters were kept from approaching the border fence by Jordanian
Soldiers in Lebanon restricted the demonstration to Beaufort, a
castle 20 kilometers from the border. Around 2,000 demonstrators
gathered there, most of Palestinian origin.
Beirut’s Daily Star newspaper reported that Hezbollah had downsized
its participation in the rally due to fears of protesters chanting
slogans against Syrian President Bashar Assad – an ally of the group.
The paper released images of two Neturei Karta rabbis attending the
event alongside Shi’ite clerics.
In Syria, a few thousand protesters rallied in a central Damascus
square, but there was no march on the border with the Golan Heights
as there was during last year’s Nakba Day and Naksa Day rallies.
Security forces in Egypt prevented any protest from taking place,
citing security concerns.
Palestinian news agency Ma’an quoted general coordinator of the
march, Ribhi Halloum, as saying that the rally lay the groundwork for
future activity and proved that “the Palestinian people are still
present and are still holding fast to their land.” Halloum claimed
that activists from 84 countries participated in various pro-
Palestinian rallies around the world on Friday.
Israeli security forces shot dead one man in the Gaza Strip on
Friday, medics said.
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report. (© 1995-2011, The
Jerusalem Post 04/01/12)
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY