Police in Israel have started patrols and security sweeps of a southern Jerusalem neighbourhood, anxiously preparing for a US embassy inauguration that Israelis and Palestinians fear may launch a week of violence.
The move on 14 May will mark the start of a potentially volatile week when Israel will celebrate its 70th anniversary and Palestinians mark the “catastrophe”, or Nakba, of their displacement on the 15th.
Nakba day has previously seen violence as the Israeli army responds to demonstrations in the occupied territories. This year, tensions are far higher than usual. Six weeks of protests along the Gaza border, during which Israeli soldiers have shot dead nearly 40 people and wounded hundreds, will culminate that week.
There are fears that those attending the rallies may attempt to breach the perimeter, a move that could lead to mass casualties as Israeli snipers are operating under rules of engagement that permit live fire.
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