SOLDIERS ON patrol in the West Bank..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Following an assessment by the general staff, the IDF has decided to reinforce troops in the West Bank ahead of expected riots following US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
According to the IDF Spokesperson’s unit, the IDF will be reinforcing its West Bank division with extra battalions and intelligence collection and territorial defense resources.
“In addition, more standby forces were defined, as part of the (military’s) readiness for possible developments,” the statement added.
On Wednesday morning, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot met with top military officers in the West Bank amid calls by Palestinian groups for violence. Eisenkot met with the heads of the IDF’s Central Command, its West Bank Division and its six regional brigades, and Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories.
During his visit Eisenkot received a “situational assessment” of the area and was briefed on the “crossings, infrastructures and technologies that have been put in place to improve the security and quality of life in the area,” the IDF said in a statement.
According to Palestinian reports, clashes with the IDF broke out near Khan Younis in the Gaza Strip. Two youths were injured by a tear gas grenade and gunfire, according to the reports.
Palestinian groups on Wednesday called for protests following Trump’s declaration on Wednesday night that the United States has formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and that the embassy will be moving from Tel Aviv.
In a statement Hamas called for “day of rage” following Friday prayers and on Wednesday the group’s leader Ismail Haniyeh called for a new uprising and for the Palestinian Authority to stop security coordination with Israel in the West Bank.
"We should call for and we should work on launching an intifada in the face of the Zionist enemy," Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a speech in Gaza.
Following Trump’s statement the US State Department called on all US diplomatic personnel to defer all nonessential travel to Israel, Jerusalem and the West Bank until December 20th. The State Department had earlier warned government officials and citizens from Jerusalem’s Old City and the West Bank “until further notice.”