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Israel on alert as Palestinians to mark 1967 losses

Israel deploys extra forces on its borders with Lebanon, the Syrian Golan, Gaza and the West Bank in anticipation of Sunday border protests on the anniversary of the June 5 war

AFP , Friday 3 Jun 2011
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Views: 2173

Israeli police and army were on alert on Friday as the Palestinians geared up to mark 44 years since Israel seized the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the Six Day War.
The anniversary, known in Arabic as the "Naksa" or "setback," will be marked on Sunday when Palestinians in neighbouring Arab states say they are planning to march on Israel's borders as they did last month.

On May 15, thousands of protesters in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza tried to force their way across the borders in a mass show of mourning over the 1948 creation of the Jewish state.
Israeli troops opened fire, killing four along the Syrian lines, and another 10 along the border with Lebanon. In northern Gaza, more than 120 people were injured during a similar protest.
Ahead of Sunday's anniversary, the army deployed extra troops along the Lebanese border as well as along the ceasefire lines in the occupied Golan Heights. Troops were also ramped up along Israel's frontier with the Gaza Strip and in the West Bank, Israel's army radio said.

On Thursday, an AFP correspondent in south Lebanon saw Israeli troops putting up new barbed wire along the border, although the military refused to comment on the reports.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said there was "heightened security" in an around Jerusalem for Friday's weekly Muslim prayers, and that there was an age restriction in place for men, meaning only those over 45 would be allowed to enter the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Old City.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday he had ordered the army to act firmly but to avoid any bloodshed during any border protests.
"My instructions are clear: to act with restraint but with the determination necessary to protect our borders... and our citizens," he told a hi-tech conference in Jerusalem on Thursday.

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