IDF on alert for ‘Nakba Day’ protests

The IDF was on high alert for possible clashes with Palestinian protesters on the occasion of Nakba Day as well as demonstrations in support of a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners.

The Israel Defense Forces were on high alert Monday and have taken special precautions in light of Nakba Day, which falls on May 15, commemorating the “nakba,” or “catastrophe” of the creation of the State of Israel in 1948.

“In last two years, the region has been relatively quiet,” the IDF said in a statement. “The IDF is taking extra security precautions, particularly in areas that are prone to riots.”

While clashes with IDF soldiers have taken place in recent years, no such violence occurred last year. However, the IDF was prepared for any unrest spurred in part by a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners, led by Marwan Barghouti, who is serving five life sentences for terrorism and murder.

Palestinian protesters blocked roads outside of Ramallah on Monday, for the second straight day in a row, in solidarity with the hunger-striking terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons.

According to the Palestinian news outlet Wafa, thousands of Palestinians took part in “Nakba Day” commemoration ceremonies in Ramallah. The participants first gathered at the memorial for arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat, former head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, responsible for countless deadly terror attacks since its founding in 1964.

Afterwards, many participants, wearing black t-shirts with the year 1948 written on the back, marched to the city center, where they stood for 69 seconds, each second marking a year since “the Nakba.”

The speakers at the gathering, Wafa reported, stressed that the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees, which according to the standards of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency includes descendants of those who left their homes in Israel’s War of Independence.

By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News