Lebanon News

Israel steps up border security fearing fresh demonstrations

KFAR KILA, Lebanon: Israel boosted security on its border with Lebanon Friday amid fears that protesters could repeat demonstrations that saw thousands of Palestinians march toward a security fence on Nakba Day.

Israel’s army intensified its movements along the Israel’s borders with Lebanon in the eastern and western sectors and beefed up security measures. Army units, backed by armored vehicles, were deployed along the border.

Israeli forces opened fire on Arab activists who marched toward Israel’s borders with Lebanon, Syria and Gaza Sunday in an unprecedented wave of protests, killing at least 15 people, including 11 Palestinians in Lebanon.

Israeli soldiers watched roads on the Lebanese side with binoculars while Israeli warplanes flew over Marjayoun and Bint Jbeil. Israeli troops were also seen installing six cameras on the Israeli side of the border, monitoring the Kfar Kila-Adaysseh road which was patrolled by UNIFIL vehicles.

On the Lebanese side, the Lebanese Army stepped up its presence and erected checkpoints on the road leading to Maroun al-Ras, which saw the incidents Sunday. Soldiers stopped cars and examined occupants’ papers, amid rumors that relatives of deceased Palestinians would visit the area.

Also, the Lebanese Army organized armored patrols in coordination with UNIFIL which deployed 20 armored vehicles, accompanied by ambulances, along the Blue Line between the Fatima gate and the Thaghra area, on the northern entrance of the village of Adaysseh.

Activists in both Lebanon and Jordan told AFP there were no plans Friday to repeat the Nakba Day demonstrations, though several activist groups on Facebook have called for protests in the West Bank and Gaza.

A committee supporting the Palestinians right of return has called upon Palestinian refugees to organize a similar march on June 5, to mark the 44th anniversary of the fall of the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem under Israel’s control during the 1967 war. –

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 21, 2011, on page 2.

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