Israel closes off West Bank ahead of Arab protests

DIAA HADID Associated Press Published:

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's military has closed off the West Bank as Palestinians and Arabs prepare for protests throughout the region against what they say are discriminatory Israeli land policies.

Thousands of troops and police have been deployed in anticipation of possible violence on Friday.

The military says the closure is "in accordance with security assessments."

It means Palestinians in the West Bank can't enter Israel, unless it's for humanitarian reasons.

The Land Day march is an annual protest marked by Israeli Arabs and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. Supporters in neighboring Arab countries are also planning marches near Israel's borders in a solidarity event.

Last year similar demonstrations turned deadly.