According to Israeli and international media, the Israeli military has deployed troops along the border with Syria in the Golan Heights, and declared the area a closed military zone. The military stated that they fear a repeat of last weekend’s Nakba demonstrations in which thousands of Palestinian refugees marched to the Israeli borders in Lebanon and Syria demanding a right of return to their homes. The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahranoth reported that the measure would be in effect at least until midnight Friday. According to the Israeli paper, military sources told them they feared that left wing Israelis would seek to join potential marches Friday in the border areas. The military was also put on high alert around the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem after Friday prayers, in fear of protests related to the killing of 16 protesters last Sunday on Nakba Day by the Israeli military.
The “Third Palestinian Intifada” facebook page has called on those involved in last week’s demonstrations and others to undertake similar protests in the coming weeks and months. The page, which rallied a lot of the support for last Sunday’s Nakba protests, stated that it will be announcing more protests for early June. Organizers expressed optimism in the aftermath of last Sundays protests, that Palestinians had embraced social networking as an effective mobilization tool.
Some Palestinians claim that social networking played a role in the formation of a unity government including both major Palestinian factions, Fatah and Hamas. But youth organizers with the recently launched “Palestinian Independent Youth Movement” have bemoaned the underutilization of pages like Facebook and Twitter by Palestinians to mobilize for protests.
The Jerusalem Post, reporting from a conference titled “Palestine in the World of New Social Media – a Culture in the Making” in Ramallah last week, stated that organizers were frustrated that though Palestinians had more access to the internet than Egypt, this has not resulted in similar outcomes in terms of social uprisings.