Israel reinforces West Bank ahead of Palestinian UN bid

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Pastor Dale Morgan

Sep 16, 2011, 1:41:10 PM9/16/11
Perilous Times

Israel reinforces West Bank ahead of Palestinian UN bid

Israel's military beefed up its forces in the West Bank on Friday ahead of expected Palestinian demonstrations ahead of their statehood bid at the United Nations on September 23, public radio reported.

Palestinians take part in a candle light rally to show support for the Palestinian bid for full United Nations membership this month Photo: REUTERS

11:31AM BST 16 Sep 2011
The Telegraph UK

The daily Yediot Aharonot said three battalions of reservists – some 1,500 personnel – have been mobilised and that units already operating in the occupied territory have been reinforced.

A fourth reserve battalion has been sent to the West Bank in case it is needed to replace an active unit that may be redeployed to the border with Egypt.

General Avi Mizrahi, the commander of central Israel which includes the West Bank, has issued strict orders to the military to act with restraint and avoid bloodshed if trouble erupts, the newspaper said.

It said troops in the Palestinian territory have been armed with anti-riot equipment including tear gas to enable them to control any protests without having to resort to live ammunition.

The military is also reported to have boosted its presence around Jewish settlements in the West Bank, both to protect them and to prevent attacks on Palestinians by extremist settlers.

According to Palestinian security officials, Israeli settlers on Thursday burned three Palestinian cars near Nablus.

Settlers plan to march on Palestinian cities if the Palestinians hold protest marches around West Bank settlements during their UN membership bid, settler leaders said on September 7.

"We will leave our communities and march peacefully towards Palestinian towns – Hebron, Ramallah or Nablus," said Yaakov Katz, a far-right member of the Israeli parliament.

Two days later, vandals sprayed graffiti on the walls of a mosque and a university in Birzeit near Ramallah in attacks suspected to have been carried out by Israeli settlers.

Palestinian security officials told AFP that "Death to the Arabs" and slogans insulting the Prophet Mohammed were painted in Hebrew and that they suspected settlers were to blame.

It was the third time in less than a week that a West Bank mosque had been the target of vandals.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was to make an address to his people on Friday ahead of next week's bid for UN membership.
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