Syrian Infiltrators 311.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Amid concerns that violence may break out, the IDF is beefing up forces and
anti-riot teams along Israel’s borders ahead of “Nakba Day” on
The IDF is concerned that it will face a repeat of last year’s
Nakba Day protests when nearly 100 Syrians succeeded in crossing into Israel
from the Golan Heights.
A number of protesters were reported killed by
the IDF along the borders with Lebanon and Syria.
Nakba Day – or the “day
of catastrophe” – is the day Palestinians mark the establishment of the State of
Israel and its subsequent refugee crisis.
“There are preparations and we
will not allow a violation of Israel’s sovereignty,” one officer explained on
Since last year, the IDF has upgraded its riot gear with new
nonlethal systems such as the “Skunk” and “Scream,” which have been used in the
West Bank to disperse demonstrators. “Scream” is a device that emits penetrating
bursts of sound that leave protesters dizzy and nauseous, while “Skunk” contains
a foul-smelling liquid that is sprayed on protesters.
The IDF has
equipped battalions with new receivers for the standardissued M-16
semi-automatic rifle so that it can shoot 0.22 mm. rounds.
5.556 mm. round is not as lethal when fired from a distance by
The army has also purchased impact rounds for snipers to
use with Remington M-24 7.62 mm. rifles.
Impact rounds are usually made
of non-lead materials and do not penetrate the skin but rather inflict a painful
blow to the target or victim.
The new equipment comes on the heels of
ordering other riot gear such as tear gas, rubber bullets and protective
The IDF also recently completed the erection of a new fence
along the Syrian border as well as the construction of new minefields aimed at
Israel has passed on messages to the United
Nations Interim Force in Lebanon warning that the IDF will use force to prevent
an infiltration of its border.
In response, UNIFIL plans to deploy large
forces along the border.
In the West Bank, the IDF and civil
administration are coordinating with Palestinian Authority security forces to
allow Palestinian protest without an escalation in violence. Expected hotspots
will once again include the Kalandiya crossing between Jerusalem and
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said standard law enforcement
deployments would occur on Nakba Day, in line with security
The police’s seven districts will hold further deliberations
in the coming days, and coordinate their preparations with one another,
Rosenfeld added.Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.