PA Arabs and Supporters Prepare for Marches on Israel
The Jordan River Valley has been chosen by Arabs as a gathering point for a planned mass march on Israel at the end of the month. Violent attempts by Arabs to cross the Lebanese and Syrian borders took place in 2011 on the anniversaries of Israel's independence and the start of the Six Day war.
As part of preparations for the Muslim marches on Israel, plans were laid out at a conference in Jordan, according to the Intelligence and Terror Information Center (ITIC).
The convoy is scheduled to leave India on Friday and spend four days in Karachi, Pakistan. From there it will be flown to Iran, where it will tour for five days before making its way to Turkey, and then by boat to Beirut, where it is expected near the end of the month. The ITIC expects that the regime in Tehran will exploit the convoy's time there, as it has in the past, for a public relations campaign on its own behalf and slander against Israel and the West.
Sources in Judea, Samaria and Gaza say efforts have been made to recruit senior Palestinian Authority officials and activists in the effort. Khatem Al-Bitawi, a member of the Palestinian Authority Legislative Council and the Association of Muslim scholars, stressed that religious and national obligation require all Muslims and Arabs to protect the Al-Aksa mosque and liberate Jerusalem, and that these issues must be returned to the greater Arab and Muslim picture after having been reduced to a local issue.
ITIC also referred to a program broadcast on Al-Quds television - associated with Hamas - in which march spokesman Zahar Birawi, a Hamas activist in Britain, who called the march a "widespread popular process" which includes Israeli Arabs as well as residents of the Palestinian Authority. He called it a turning point in the nature of the struggle against Israel, which he said would be forced to deal with "millions of people".
In the ITIC's estimate, "Despite intensive preparations, it seems that organizers prefer at this time to lower expectations." They noted that the march's coordinator stressed that the event is not being called the "March of the Million" but the "World Jerusalem March" because it's important that the march is taking place with the participation of representatives of many countries around the world and the number of participants is less important.