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Israeli army cancels Passover vacation, officials deny military operations involved in decision

Israel Materials 29 March 2012 04:40
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz announced on Wednesday that all units must be on full alert during the traditional Passover holidays, though officials dismissed the idea that the decision is linked to planned military operations, Xinhua reported.
Israeli army cancels Passover vacation, officials deny military operations involved in decision

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz announced on Wednesday that all units must be on full alert during the traditional Passover holidays, though officials dismissed the idea that the decision is linked to planned military operations, Xinhua reported.

IDF officials said that although all units would have to report for duty, "commanders could allow every soldier to go on leave like the rest of the year," The Jerusalem Post reported.

The sudden decision, only a week before the holidays, comes amid heightened rumors of an Israeli strike on Iran, and tensions ahead of the Palestinian Land Day.

Officials dismissed the war rumors, saying that the decision does not obey military maneuvers, but rather Gantz wanting a fully operational army at all times.

The IDF is beefing up security in Israel and the West Bank, ahead of the Palestinian Land Day on Friday, which will be marked by rallies in Israel to commemorate the deaths of six Israeli Arabs protesting Israeli government land policies.

Coinciding with Land Day is the Global March to Jerusalem, which urges pro-Palestinian activists to try to break Israel's fences from all its borders, in order to infiltrate the country and march into Jerusalem.

"The IDF is prepared for any eventuality and will do whatever is necessary to protect Israeli borders and residents," IDF's spokespersons unit told Xinhua.

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