Israel's Neighboring Arab States Prepare to Mark Nakba Day

Tens of thousands of Palestinians in Lebanon to march down to border with Israel and call for right of return of Palestinians; Israeli police on high alert throughout country and along borders.

Israeli security forces prepared to be on high alert Sunday while the Palestinians commemorate Nakba Day, heightening security along Israel's borders.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians across Lebanon were prepared to march and bus down toward the border with Israel on Sunday, to converge for a protest rally in Maroun al-Ras, a village in southern Lebanon that was a major point of fighting between the IDF and Hezbollah during the 2006 Lebanon War.

Lebanon Nakba - Reuters - May 14, 2011

Organizers of the Maroun al-Ras protest announced that the demonstration will be non-violent and participants have been forbidden to carry any kind of weapons. Moreover, the Lebanese army and security forces will be securing the protest march.

"Our message is clear," the organizers of the protest said, "the right of return is a basic right and no one can concede it. We will reach the border to symbolize the return to Palestine."

Hundreds of Israeli Arabs are expected to reach the other side of the border near the town of Avivim during the Lebanon demonstration, and protesters are due to use loudspeakers in order to communicate across the border.

Haaretz has learned that the protest was organized by a group of young people active in Arab political movements, who called on people to participate in the demonstration using Facebook.

Hundreds in Jordan and Egypt have also recently rallied in their respective capitals to honor Nakba Day and call for the establishment of a Palestinian state. These protests were also organized via social networking sites such as Facebook.

Israel's Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino on Saturday evaluated the state of affairs ahead of Nakba Day, after receiving a summary of police activities in East Jerusalem from the city's district commander Niso Shaham.

Danino emphasized in his evaluation that the police will show restraint while allowing protests to go ahead, however will not permit disorderly conduct. He added that the detention policy regarding disorderly conduct will remain in place.

Increased police presence in East Jerusalem and other districts throughout Israel will also continue, Danino said.