Source: The Jewish Chronicle Online
By Jennifer Lipman
Israeli security forces are on high alert today in anticipation of the Global March to Jerusalem.
The demonstration, organised by a coalition of anti-Israel groups from around the world, is expected to attract thousands of protesters.There are a number of security concerns about the event, which will take place as Jews prepare for Shabbat and Muslims mark Friday prayers.
The date has been chosen as it coincides with Land Day, when six Arabs died protesting againstIsraeli government plans in 1976.
Demonstrations are also expected to take place in the West Bank and the Lebanon and Gaza borders. Last year on Nakba Day – another day known for anti-Israel protests - demonstrators stormed Israel’s borders from Lebanon and Syria, resulting in the deaths of 15. This year, more than 2,000 border police will be on alert at checkpoints and other key sites to avoid such clashes, with troops positioned on the northern borders as well.
The Israeli government has said it wants people to be able to mark Land Day and has instructed security forces to act with restraint.
The police have also been in contact with Arab communities and urged them to ensure the protests remain peaceful.
“We’re hoping there won’t be any major incidents,” said police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld. “If there are … obviously the police will respond and deal with them.”___________________________________________
Source: Arutz Sheva
By Gil Ronen
An IDF force discovered several explosive charges near the security fence separating Gaza from Israel Thursday, near Kibbutz Sufa. The large scale explosives are arranged in an array pattern designed to maximize damage to its targets.
An IDF engineering force was believed to be working into the night under heavy security to neutralize the charges.
IDF helicopters are hovering overhead and firing into open areas in order to keep away terrorists who were trying to come near.
A large scale explosive charge was placed along the security fence with Gaza earlier this week. The charges are intended for attacks against IDF soldiers
IDF Alert Prompts Closure on PA-Controlled Areas
Source: Arutz Sheva
By Elad Benari
As part of the preparations and high alert for the Arab “Land Day”, which will be marked on Friday, the IDF Spokesman announced on Thursday night that, following a decision by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, a general closure was imposed on the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria.
The closure was imposed as of 11:59 p.m. (Israel time) on Thursday night and will be removed on Friday at 11:59 p.m. (Israel time), pending an assessment of the security situation in the region.
According to the IDF announcement, during the closure movement into Israeli territory will be allowed only for humanitarian reasons, medical reasons and other exceptions, all subject to the approval of the Civil Administration.
Earlier Thursday it was reported that the IDF, police and Shin Bet, as well as MDA emergency services, are all poised for dealing with possible Arab disturbances during Land Day.
Security forces expect violence by Arab citizens of Israel and Arab residents of Jerusalem. Hundreds of additional police have beefed up security presence in and around Jerusalem. These include snipers and Yasam Special Forces, which will break up violent altercations and break into the Temple Mount if necessary.
Most forces will be placed near mosques, where Muslims hold their Friday prayers.
Arabs from neighboring countries – Lebanon, Jordan and Syria – as well as from Gaza, are expected to march toward the Israeli border in a planned ‘Global March to Jerusalem’. According to intelligence assessments, Iran is behind these initiatives.
Jewish Residents Protest Removal of Road Blockade
Source: Arutz Sheva
By Elad Benari
Residents of the northwestern Shomron Jewish community of Avnei Hefetz demonstrated on Thursday against the removal of a roadblock which prevented residents of the neighboring Arab village of Shufa from crossing the highway.
Tzvi Dardik from the secretariat of Avnei Hefetz said during the demonstration, “The IDF decided to remove the barrier despite having promised not to do so until the road is adjusted to accommodate the large masses of residents of Shechem who will travel through it. We once again warn that if no changes are made, including widening the road and adding lighting - the road will become a death trap. The road is not built to accommodate the great mass of Arabs who will pass through if the barrier comes down.
The opening of the road comes after on Wednesday, the road between Beit Furik and Elon Moreh was opened for the first time in 12 years.
The road, which is known as the Madison Route, connects to the Samaria Brigade base, passes through the entrance to Itamar and ends at the community of Elon Moreh.
The road was closed to vehicles with the onset of the Second Intifada, also known as the Oslo War, in 2000. Since then, the IDF has prohibited Arab residents of the area to drive through the road, after terrorists carried out a number of shooting attacks directed against Israeli vehicles.
On Wednesday, residents of Elon Moreh protested against the opening of Madison Route and prevented Arabs from passing through.
“This road has known quite a few shooting attacks,” said Benny Katzover, a resident of Elon Moreh and chairman of the Samaria Residents’ Committee. “If the security situation is so good, why aren’t the other traffic routes opened to Jews? And why are we not discussing a Jewish return to Joseph's Tomb?”
Katzover added, “Opening the road will make it easier for the Arabs to ‘accidentally’ enter Elon Moreh or Itamar. This will give them a wide range of options to hurt us.”
He noted that a number of stabbings have recently been prevented in the area added, “Opening the road to Arabs will be life threatening for us.”