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Monday May 16, 2011 10:15 AM (EST+7)
Israel's military worried border protests to continue

Read more: borders, Syria, Lebanon, Israeli military, protests, demonstrations, crowd control, Nakba, Nekba

RAMALLAH, May 16 (JMCC) - Israel's military is worried that protests along its borders seen on Sunday could become the norm, reports the Jerusalem Post.

About 100 Palestinian refugees and Syrians entered the Israel-occupied Golan Heights Sunday in a protest seeking to commemorate the Nakba in 1948, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced out of their homes.

In video that has surfaced of the breach, it is clear that Israel's military was nowhere to be seen for some time. Two protesters were subsequently killed by Israeli fire and some remained on the Israeli side of the border.

Hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinians also approached the Lebanon border fence with Israel, throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers on the other side. Ten demonstrators were reported killed in the confrontation, with some reports of the Lebanese army joining the Israeli military in firing on protesters.

In the short term, the IDF will need to launch a probe to discover where it went wrong, not just in its assessments but mostly operationally to determine how 100 or so foreign nationals succeeded in breaching a border and entering sovereign Israeli territory. In the long term, the concern within the IDF is that these types of civil disturbances and so-called border protests will become routine.

In Lebanon, for example, they could be used as cover and a way for Hezbollah to reestablish borderline positions, which it has not maintained since the end of the Second Lebanon War almost five years ago. On Sunday afternoon, Hezbollah operatives openly appeared near the border and evacuated some of the protesters wounded by the Lebanese Armed Forces.

If this happens also in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, it will place a massive burden on the IDF, which is already spread thin along Israel’s various fronts.







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