Report: Palestinians in Lebanon to Postpone 'Naksa Day' March to Israel Border

Lebanese authorities pressure Palestinian organizers to postpone march to border that was planned for Sunday, according to a report in The Daily Star.

Palestinians in Lebanon will postpone a "Naksa Day" march to the border with Israel that had been planned for Sunday, after facing pressure from Lebanese authorities, the Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star reported on Friday.

"Naksa Day" marks the anniversary of the start of the 1967 Six Day War, during which Israel took control of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Golan Heights border incident May 15, 2011 (Yaron Kaminsky)
Yaron Kaminsky

An organizer of the planned march told The Daily Star that he was not concerned with the June 5 date.

“Our aim is to reach the borders, regardless of the date of the march," Yasser Azzam was quoted as saying. "We as Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are not concerned with June 5.”

On Thursday, the Lebanese Army declared the area around the country's border with Israel a closed military zone, a move aimed at preventing Palestinian protesters from demonstrating in the area over the weekend.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that Israel will be decisive in protecting its borders against infiltrating protesters, warning Syria and Lebanon ahead of upcoming Naksa Day border protests.

"Like any country in the world, Israel has the right and duty to guard and defend its borders," Netanyahu said. "Therefore my instructions are clear, to act with restraint, but with the necessary decisiveness to protect our borders, our communities and our citizens."

On May 15, Israeli forces killed 11 demonstrators when Palestinians marched to the Israel-Lebanon border.

The Palestinians had been participating in a rally in Maroun al-Ras commemorating what they call the Nakba, or disaster, the day when the Jewish state was established in 1948.

On Thursday, Netanyahu said that Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas were behind last month's deadly demonstrations, adding that "in the next few days those groups will retry to challenge Israel's sovereignty."