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Friday, May 20, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Israel anticipating more frequent border assaults

TEL AVIV — The Israel Army has been bracing for a wave of assaults on its borders with Lebanon, Syria and the Gaza Strip.


Officials said the Israel Army has been reinforcing troops along the northern borders amid intelligence that Hamas and Hizbullah were organizing what could be weekly attempts to infiltrate Israel. On May 15, 12 Arab civilians were killed during a rush by thousands along the Israeli borders with Lebanon, Syria and the Gaza Strip.

"We will use previous experience and draw from our knowledge in order to write an appropriate military doctrine and prepare," Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said.

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Officials said Hamas and Hizbullah were directed by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in an effort to raise tension along Israel's borders.

They said Arabs were being recruited through Facebook and Twitter for demonstrations supported by the regimes in Beirut and Damascus.

The Army has ordered additional non-lethal weapons — including body armor, stun grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets — to stop the marches. But officials acknowledged that live fire would probably be required to halt thousands of people, many of whom were expected to hurl firebombs and rocks toward Israeli soldiers.

The military has also acquired indigenous systems. They included such devices as "Scream," designed to produce a sound that results in nausea, and "Skunk Bomb," which replicates the animal's emission.

"In the end, the commander on the field will explain exactly what should happen," Gantz told an army battalion deployed in the Golan Heights on May 18. "The important thing is that commanding in the field is done properly."

Officials said the assaults could also come from Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. They said organizers were directing Arabs and Palestinians to prepare large rocks to hurl toward Israeli checkpoints.

"We met up with something like 500 guys approaching the checkpoint [in northern Jerusalem]," an Israeli infantry commander, recalling the May 15 protest in the West Bank, said. "In the distance, masked people threw rocks. For 10 hours, they play cat and mouse. They advance and hold back, hide and attack."

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