Israel police train for mass Palestinian protests

Hundreds of Israeli police are taking part in a training exercise in preparation for potentially large-scale Palestinian protests in September.

Jerusalem: Hundreds of Israeli police are
taking part in a training exercise in preparation for
potentially large-scale Palestinian protests in September, a
police spokesman said on Tuesday.

"There`s an exercise that the police are carrying
out... in order to deal with public order, maintaining public
order, and dealing with widespread disturbances," spokesman
Mickey Rosenfeld said.

"Several hundred police officers are taking part in
that, and it is leading up to the forthcoming months ...
meaning September."

The Palestinian leadership plans to seek UN
recognition and membership in September in a move Israeli
security officials fear could be accompanied by widespread
Palestinian protests.

Recent demonstrations along Israel`s northern borders
have raised fears that protesters could storm Israeli
checkpoints or settlements in the West Bank.

"It`s a regular standard exercise on a large scale,"
Rosenfeld said.

"But obviously we`re taking into consideration that
there might be the need ... for large numbers of police
officers ... to deal with large-scale demonstrations in
September."

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that hundreds of
police, border guards and special forces were taking part in
the three-day exercise.

The exercise reportedly envisages various scenarios,
including the possibility of thousands of Palestinians
marching towards Israeli roads and checkpoints.

The Israeli army would be the first responders in such
an instance, but if the protesters crossed into Israel, the
police would then handle the response.

PTI

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