Israeli security forces and communities near the Gaza border prepared for thousands of Palestinians to take part in Nakba Day demonstrations along the security fence surrounding the coastal enclave on Wednesday, though these were expected to be tamer than last year’s Nakba Day clashes in which protesters attempted to breach the security fence, threw explosives at Israeli troops and, in one case, shot at soldiers.
The US embassy in Israel issued a security alert late Monday evening, urging all American citizens in Israel to exercise caution and avoid travelling to areas affected by rocket fire in the latest deadly flare-up between Hamas and Israel. The warning comes ahead of the anniversary of US Embassy opening in Jerusalem - which coincides with the week-long Eurovision festivities.
In recent days, the US has announced the deployment of an array of military power to the Middle East as tensions grow with Iran. On Friday, the US Department of Defense approved the addition of the USS Arlington and a Patriot battery to US Central Command to fill a request last week. The additional forces come as tensions with Iran are rising and the US has warned Iran that any attack by Iranian forces or their proxies will be met with retaliation.
The central gathering ushering in national Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror began at the Western Wall in Jerusalem Tuesday evening at 8:01 pm, following a minute-long siren and moment of silence. President Reuven Rivlin, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi and police Commissioner Motti Cohen were in attendance.