The Israel Defense Forces have bolstered troop levels in the West Bank against the possibility of widespread disturbances today. But the Central Command?s assessment is that the Palestinian Authority security services will continue to prevent demonstrators from reaching areas under Israeli control.
While the IDF has no indication that violence will erupt, it worries that events in New York - where PA President Mahmoud Abbas will address the UN General Assembly today and formally apply for UN recognition as a state - could inflame tempers, as could Friday prayers in the mosques.
An attack by settlers on Palestinians could also spark wider disturbances, and this possibility is currently one of the IDF?s chief concerns.
?We?re in touch with rabbis and public leaders, but there?s no one to pick up the phone to,? explained a senior Central Command officer.
The Islamist Hamas organization has declared today a ?day of rage,? but the IDF believes Hamas lacks the infrastructure to foment widespread disturbances in the West Bank.
?The PA leadership and its security forces have no interest in the protests getting out of control,? the Central Command officer said, and thus far, security coordination with the PA has been excellent. ?But the question is whether they can control and contain a large outbreak.?
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This story "Israelis Brace for Unrest Over U.N. Bid" was written by Haaretz.