Media reports claim that the Israeli Defence Ministry has ordered its forces to throw a security cordon around the occupied Palestinian territories in September. The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) will carry out the order to counter the protests anticipated when the Palestinian Authority seeks UN recognition for an independent state next month.
The sources added that Israeli security forces are on high alert in preparation for any demonstrations organised by Palestinian groups which could lead to confrontations at barriers and border crossings near Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, and at the numerous roadblocks scattered across the occupied territories.
Strict instructions have been given to the IDF, it is claimed, to deal with any protests trying to reach the areas adjacent to illegal settlements. Israel is preparing to use sound bombs, tear gas and water cannons against any protesters.
One commentator at Middle East Monitor in London has suggested that this latest move, in an area already under Israel's brutal military occupation, is part of Israeli efforts to ratchet up tensions in the region ahead of the UN decision. "Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has already said that the Palestinian Authority's request to the UN will cause violence," said Ibrahim Hewitt. "This 'security cordon' will make sure that his statement becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, giving the IDF an excuse to crack down even more brutally on Palestinians demanding their independence and an end to the occupation."