(1) Armed with our information from yesterday, bathing clothes, sun cream, anti-Bush shirts and a camera we decide to go as near to Guantanamo Bay as possible.

(2) Palestinian refugees stage demo near Israeli border.

What is the difference between "near" and "near to"? Thanks
Your second example seems to be a "headline," and as such would be likely to have words omitted. Perhaps in regular language it would be, "Yesterday afternoon a large group of Palestinian refugees staged a noisy demonstration only a half mile away from the Israeli border."

In this case there's no difference in meaning. Near to Guantanamo Bay is no different in meaning or structure from Near to the Israeli border. I would say that the "to" is optional in both these examples.

In a sentence like, "We expect no drastic changes in the near term," near is an an adjective and could not be followed by "to."

On the other hand, in "close to the border" and "close to the bay" the "to" is required. But you could say, "Please move in as close as possible," without saying close to what; and you could not say "Please move in as near as possible." I hope this comparison is more useful than confusing.

(I think I'm too tired to be making much sense. Sorry.)

- A.
Avnagi, you are right. The second sentence is a headline. Thanks for the explanation. It's useful.