(JNS) The Israel Defense Forces is boosting its presence in Judea and Samaria and along the Gaza border ahead of a planned Palestinian “day of rage” in response to the declaration by the U.S. administration last week that it no longer views Jewish communities in those areas as violating international law.
The army has requested that all troops do what they can to avoid increasing frictions, despite the fact that they are anticipated to face stone-throwing, fire bombs and other forms of violence, Israel’s Channel 12 reported. The military is reportedly concerned about sparking wider clashes.
The army will be deploying additional commanders to the field to help ensure only necessary force is used against rioters, according to the report.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement last Monday that Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria are “not per se inconsistent with international law” led Palestinian leaders to rail against the change of policy and call on their followers to take to the streets in protest.
The Palestinian Authority Education Ministry even canceled school between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to encourage students to participate in the “day of rage.” “The Education Ministry affirms the necessity of participating in the events being organized,” it said in a statement.
PLO Executive Committee member Wasel Abu Yousef told The Times of Israel, “We declared a day of rage to reject this statement by the American secretary of state,” adding, “We totally condemn this American effort to legitimize the settlements.”