IDF initiates special training ahead of ´Nakba Day´ (JERUSALEM POST) By YAAKOV KATZ 04/23/12)
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The IDF is gearing up for “Nakba Day” protests expected next month
and has sent snipers for special training to sharpen their skills
ahead of planned demonstrations along Israel’s borders.
A few weeks ago, the IDF and the Israel Police went on high alert to
prevent the Global March to Jerusalem. The day passed quietly,
though, without any major demonstrations on either of Israel’s
northern borders with Lebanon and Syria.
However, the IDF is concerned that it will face on May 15 a repeat of
last year’s Nakba Day when about 100 protesters succeeded in crossing
into the state from Syria.
A number of protesters were reported killed then by the IDF along the
borders with Lebanon and Syria. Nakba Day – or the “day of
catastrophe” – is the day the Palestinians commemorate the
establishment of the State of Israel.
Ahead of the planned demonstrations, the IDF recently completed the
erection of a new fence along the Syrian border as well as the
creation of new minefields aimed at preventing infiltrations. In
addition, the IDF has been training its sniper units to target
protesters’ legs in a nonfatal way.
“Nakba Day will be another test and we will be prepared,” a senior
While the Global March to Jerusalem passed quietly, the IDF is
concerned that the Syrian leadership will purposely dispatch
protesters to the border as part of an effort to divert attention
away from President Bashar Assad’s violent crackdown on the Syrian
In recent weeks, Israel has passed on messages to UNIFIL in Lebanon
warning that the IDF will use force to prevent an infiltration of its
border. Last year, the Lebanese Armed Forces were heavily deployed
along the border and actively prevented demonstrators from
approaching the border.
In the West Bank, the IDF and the civil administration are
coordinating with Palestinian Authority security forces to enable
Palestinians to protest in a way that will not lead to an escalation
in violence. Expected hotspots will once again include the Kalandiya
crossing between Jerusalem and Ramallah. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem
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