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Palestinians prepare for 'Nakba Day'

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Palestinians prepare for 'Nakba Day'
A man holds an old key symbolizing the Palestinians homes that people lost in 1948 when the Jewish state of Israel was created, during a gathering to mark the 63th anniversary of the "Nakba" (catastrophe), on May 11, 2011, in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip. UPI/Ismael Mohamad | License Photo

JERUSALEM, May 13 (UPI) -- Police in Israel said they were concerned activities marking the Palestinian "Nakba Day" mourning Israel's statehood may lead to violence and riots.

Palestinians have been texting thousands of messages to people in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, calling for participation in events Friday and Saturday in advance of Nakba Day and to possibly ignite a third intifada, or uprising, Ynetnews.com reported.

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Police said they don't think events will escalate, but additional forces were deployed to maintain order. Security measures ahead of Sunday also include restricting entrance to Temple Mount to male worshippers more than 45 years of age with Israeli ID documentation.

The Shomron Settlers' Committee said its activists would distribute Israeli flags Sunday at major intersections throughout the country.

Organizers of the intifada initiative in the West Bank and a "return procession" in Gaza said in flyers advertising Sunday's events the goals were "to demand our natural right to return to our land and implement U.N. resolutions," Ynetnews.com said.

Organizers said activities would be non-violent, and expressed optimism about the march's success.

"I foresee some quarter-of-a-million people participating in Sunday's march from Gaza City toward Beit Hanoun [Erez Crossing]," Ahmad Najar told Ynetnews.com. "This is a peace march, and we are only demanding one thing -- our natural right to return to our cities in Haifa and Jaffa. We are not interested in clashing with anyone."

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