IDF chief: Troops will be stationed at forward positions on Naksa Day
Ahead of 44th anniversary of the start of 1967 Middle East War in which East Jerusalem, Gaza and the Golan heights were captured, Benny Gantz says Mideast will know change in the near future.
Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said Thursday that the military was preparing to station the troops at forward positions, referring to planned Palestinians protests along Israel's borders.
"We are preparing on all possible fronts and we will position both command and troops at forward positions," Gantz said ahead of upcoming Naksa Day border protests.
"During these times, we look around and see the storm taking place in our region teaches us yet another lesson about the instability of the Middle East, which will bring about changes in the near future," he added.
On May 15, Israeli forces killed 11 demonstrators when Palestinians marched to Israel's borders with Lebanon and Syria, with some infiltrating across the border and into the Golan Heights.
Palestinians are planning to stage a similar protest on Sunday, which comes in response to another call on Facebook to cross Israel's borders on the 44th anniversary of the start of 1967 Middle East War in which Israel captured East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Golan Heights.
Earlier Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stressed the Israel will be decisive in protecting its borders against infiltrating protesters.
"Like any country in the world, Israel has the right and duty to guard and defend its borders. Therefore my instructions are clear, to act with restraint, but with the necessary decisiveness to protect our borders, our communities and our citizens," Netanyahu said in a speech.
Meanwhile it was reported that 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.