Police on high alert in Golan, J'lem after Naksa Day

Spokesman Rosenfeld denies report that police contemplating a closure of the Majdal Shams area ahead of Shavuot holiday.

By
June 6, 2011 15:27
2 minute read.
Medics carry injured man near Kalandiya checkpoint

protester kalandiya_311 reuters. (photo credit: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters)

 
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Police were on high alert in the Golan Heights and Jerusalem on Monday following a day of disturbances in the Syrian border area and Kalandiya marking Naksa Day, the anniversary of the day the Six Day War began,  police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told The Jerusalem Post.

Ongoing assessments are underway to gauge the security situation in those areas ahead of Shavuot, Rosenfeld said, but he denied an Israel Radio report claiming that police were contemplating a closure of the Majdal Shams area.

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"No one is thinking about closing off the Golan. If for any reason there is a security development, it will be necessary to take steps like setting up road blocks and coordinating responses," Rosenfeld said.

"We are maintaining a beefed up presence in the North and Jerusalem," he added.

On Sunday, Rosenfeld said that the situation was generally quiet throughout the day in Majdal Shams, until the evening, when around 100 local protesters made their way down to the area where police were stationed near the Syria-border fence, and began throwing rocks at officers.

Police immediately responded with tear gas, and dispersed the crowds after around 20-25 minutes, arresting several arrests in the process, Rosenfeld said. After the protesters were dispersed, police met with local leaders in Majdal Shams to calm the situation, Rosenfeld said. He added that no police officers were injured in the clashes with the villagers.

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In the Jerusalem area on Sunday, Roughly 250 Palestinians demonstrated at the Kalandiya checkpoint, attempting to cross into Green Line Israel by foot around noon, while throwing rocks, gasoline bombs and burning tires at the soldiers and border police.

After the attempt to force Kalandiya, the rioters were pushed north about half a kilometer on the Jerusalem-Ramallah highway by soldiers using tear gas and shock grenades. According to Palestinian news reports, at least 40 people were treated for tear gas inhalation and two were seriously injured. One policeman was lightly wounded by a rock and treated on the scene. A Jerusalem Post photographer was also lightly injured in the leg by a rock.

Benjamin Hartman and Melanie Lidman contributed to this report

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