Israel Police are on high alert and are preparing for a tense security situation ahead of the Flag March on Jerusalem Day on Sunday, May 29.
Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai ordered the deployment of over 3,000 police officers to secure Jerusalem and the march. Hundreds of police officers are also being deployed to mixed Jewish-Arab cities out of fear of a repeat of last year’s riots. Border Police have been banned from taking leave, training courses have been canceled, and three reserve companies are being called up.
Meanwhile, the IDF is preparing for the possibility that Hamas will fire rockets at Israel on Jerusalem Day and is evaluating the readiness of the Iron Dome and other air defense batteries.
Hamas, who fired rockets at Israel last year during the Flag Parade, has threatened to repeat the scenario this year.
Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah also threatened that the march could lead to a “major explosion,” calling it a “great provocation.”
In a speech on Wednesday for Liberation Day, marking the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon in 2000, Nasrallah said: “I want to tell the Israeli government and everyone involved – any harm to al-Aqsa and the Dome of the Rock will lead to a major explosion in the region with unimaginable consequences. This is a provocation against all Arab and Muslim peoples.”
Also on Wednesday, dozens of Lebanese citizens demonstrated near Israel’s northern border and threw objects at the border wall. Israeli security forces used riot control methods to restore order.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)