Palestinian Arabs Mark the 'Nakba,' again

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Palestinian Arabs gathered to demonstrate against the rebirth of the State of Israel on Wednesday, which they call the 'Nakba' (catastrophe).

Israeli soldiers and police are on high alert around the country, especially in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria (the West Bank).

"We are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst," IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said.

The Palestinian Authority called a general strike so as many as possible could take part in the protests.

To understand more about the P.A.'s position, read the latest Palestinian Media Watch bulletin entitled, "P.A. narrative: All of Israel is 'occupied' land."

About 300 protesters rioted at the Kalandia checkpoint near Ramallah, where soldiers used tear gas to disperse the crowd. About 20 demonstrators injured in the protests, while one soldier and three border policemen were hurt by rocks.

At an army checkpoint near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, protesters threw rocks at soldiers, who responded with tear gas to disperse the demonstrators.

More rock-throwing and fire bomb attacks against civilians took place at other flashpoints, including Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem, Joseph's Tomb, Rachel's Tomb near Bethlehem, and Gush Etzion.

Earlier on Wednesday, about 20 Israelis took refuge from rock throwers inside Rachel's Tomb until security forces arrived, YNet reported.

Large crowds carrying Palestinian flags marched in Ramallah and Gaza City. 

By day's end, about 270 protesters were lightly injured countrywide, but only one seriously, according to local media.

The IDF is not expecting a repeat of last year's attempts to breach the borders with Syria and Lebanon.

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