Israel calls up 6 reserve battalions amid unrest in West Bank

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Israel’s military has said it will be calling up six reserve battalions in the next few weeks, amid escalating tensions in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The move is made in order to preserve the presence of Israeli troops in the area between Israel and the West Bank, and to prevent Palestinians from crossing into Israel without permits, the Army added on Thursday.

The deployment of hundreds of reservists “will strengthen the IDF’s (Israel Defence Forces) ongoing defensive efforts to prevent terrorist attacks and illegal crossings of the Judea and Samaria security barrier,” the military said in a statement, using the Israeli term for the West Bank, Xinhua news agency reported.

The decision to recruit reserve battalions came after a situational assessment and was approved by military Chief of Staff, Aviv Kochavi, said the Army.

For the past weeks, the tension between Israelis and Palestinians has continued to heighten, featuring a string of Palestinian attacks in Israel killing 14, and Israeli raids on the West Bank. The two sides also saw growing unrest around the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in East Jerusalem.

Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which are claimed by the Palestinians, in the 1967 Middle East war, and has controlled them ever since.

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