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Middle east

Israel steps up security ahead of Palestinian bid

©

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-09-23

Israel is set to deploy extra police in sensitive areas and raise its level of security alertness to head off potential unrest as the Palestinian Authority presents its bid for statehood at the UN on Friday.

AFP - Israel on Friday will raise its level of security alertness in case unrest accompanies Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's application for UN membership for a Palestinian state, police said.

"We will be heightening security by one level in general. This is being coordinated by the military, border police and Israel police," police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told AFP.

Senior police officers were to meet later Thursday in Jerusalem to decide on whether age limits would be set for Palestinians entering the city's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound for Friday prayers.

Rosenfeld said police were also deploying additional personnel in sensitive areas such as cities where Jews and Arabs live in close proximity.

An Israeli army spokesman, Captain Arye Shalicar, said the military would show "restraint" in dealing with unrest, "providing the minimal effective response, using riot dispersal means as required by the severity of the disturbances."

Another military official said that it was not yet decided if crossings between the West Bank and Israel would close.

Tens of thousands of Palestinians rallied across the West Bank on Wednesday in a massive show of support for the campaign to become a member state at the United Nations.

Palestinian medics said a 13-year-old boy lost an eye when troops fired a teargas cartridge at stonethrowers in Qalandia near Ramallah.

 

Date created : 2011-09-22

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