Rocket and Molotov cocktails mark start to Nakba Day (TIMES OF ISRAEL) By RON FRIEDMAN 05/15/12)
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Army chief: ‘We are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst’
Palestinians hurled molotov cocktails at an IDF post near the city of
Hebron overnight and a rocket was shot from Gaza into southern Israel
early Tuesday as the country braced for protests and violence as
Palestinians mark Nakba Day.
No injuries were reported in Hebron, and there were no reports of
injuries or damage after the rocket fell in the Sha’ar Hanegev region.
Nakba, or catastrophe, is the Palestinian term for Israel’s founding
in 1948. It is marked on May 14 or May 15 each year.
The IDF has deploying on the borders while police forces are beefing
up presence at friction points in anticipation of possible Nakba Day
clashes. While military intelligence sources said they don’t
anticipate a repeat of last year’s events, when hundreds of
protesters stormed Israel’s borders with Syria and Lebanon, Israel is
not taking any chances.
A senior IDF officer told Walla News that the army anticipates
protests to be limited to Palestinian cities and contained by
Palestinian security forces. The official said that military
intelligence would be monitoring prayer services at mosques and
public broadcasts to detect incitement and calls for violence.
“We anticipate demonstrations, but not at levels we are unaccustomed
to,” said the officer.
The IDF has increased presence along the Syrian, Lebanese, Egyptian,
Gazan and West Bank borders for fear of attempted terror attacks, as
well as to respond to any unexpected developments resulting from
clashes between protesters and soldiers.The source said the Army
would not let the borders be breached and would “respond
appropriately to any attempts to do so.”
“We can’t ignore the recent high tensions and therefore will place
commanders at friction points and show as much restraint as
possible,” said a senior officer of the Central Command.
During a visit to units in the field, IDF Chief of General Staff Lt.
Gen. Benny Gantz said, “We are hoping for the best and preparing for
The police is also on high alert and is preparing to be on hand for
any violent flare ups across the country, especially in Jerusalem,
the West Bank and in Arab villages in the north.
Emergency Rescue services will also beef up manpower in preparation
for being called up to treat multiple injuries in case violence
Despite the signing of a deal with Palestinian prisoners to bring to
an end a massive hunger strike, on Monday, prison services are on
alert for riots.
In recent years, Nakba Day has been turned into a political display
in support of the Palestinian cause around the world, and has seen
some violent eruptions following demonstrations.
Last year, several hundreds of people, mostly Palestinian refugees,
tried to storm Israel’s borders from Syria and Lebanon. This year the
army expects that military and police forces in neighboring countries
will stop a repeat of such attempts. (© 2012 THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
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