Photo by: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
Red Cross given access to wounded; IDF confirms injuries, not deaths; armed men seen on Syrian side of border; demonstrators still attempting to breach border; TV shows protesters carried away on stretchers.
Syrian television on Sunday reported that six people were killed and 10 injured along the Syria-Israel border in the Golan Heights near Majdal Shams, reportedly from IDF fire. The IDF spokesperson said that the only information it had on deaths on the border were Syrian reports and therefore, it could not confirm the number of people killed or if there were any deaths.
After several hours of clashes, IDF began allowing Red Cross teams access to the Syrian border area in order to evacuate wounded protesters, Channel 10 reported.
Two armed men were identified near the border fence in Kunetra, on the Syrian side of the border, the IDF Spokesman told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday afternoon.
There was no further official information about he identity of the gunmen, or their proximity to the border but a security official suggested that the men could be Syrian police or army forces
Prior to spotting the armed men, according to the IDF spokesperson, around 150 people managed to cross to the Syrian side of the fence, entering a mined zone between the two fences in the Majdal Shams area.
“We issued warnings for them to stop advancing. When they continued, we fired warning shots in the air,” an IDF spokeswoman told The Jerusalem Post.
When the demonstrators continued toward the Israeli fence, they said, shots were fired at their lower bodies. “We know of 12 injuries,” she added.
A second demonstration was observed on the Syrian border in Kunetra, where 200 to 300 demonstrators amassed. The IDF said there was no attempt to cross the border at that event, and no injuries were recorded
IDF forces were sending Arabic-language messages through loudspeakers over the border, warning that anyone approaching the fence would be killed.
Syrian television also reported that demonstrators were attempting to breach the fence at several other points in the Golan Heights, Channel 2 reported.
Earlier Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned that there are “radical elements who are trying to breach [Israel’s] borders to mark the anniversary of the start of the Six Day War,” speaking at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting. “We won’t allow them to do it.”
Netanyahu added that the security forces will act “firmly but with restraint.”
IDF and police forces were on high alert and have shored up their presence on several of Israel’s frontiers ahead of Sunday’s anticipated border marches to commemorate the Palestinian “Naksa,” or “setback” in the 1967 Six Day War. A wide-scale Internet campaign has called for protests in the West Bank and Jerusalem, on Israel’s borders with Syria, Lebanon and Jordan and outside its embassies in Cairo and Amman.
- Naksa Day ~~ Roundup of Israeli Terrorism (desertpeace.wordpress.com)
- IDF: Protesters caused their own deaths – Ynetnews (news.google.com)
- Syrian protesters amass by Israel border ahead of Naksa Day rallies – Ha’aretz (news.google.com)
- Syrian rioters attempt to breach Israel’s borders: Assad Regime is again the likely instigator (cifwatch.com)
- On the fence /The Naksa does not belong to the Palestinians – Ha’aretz (news.google.com)
- Gantz: IDF Preparing for Naksa Day (israelnationalnews.com)
- Netanyahu: Palestinians not interested in solution based on 1967 borders – Ha’aretz (news.google.com)
- Israeli troops fire on Palestinians at Syrian border, killing 4 (jta.org)
- Naksa Day: 14 Dead, Scores Wounded (cbsnews.com)
- Violence on Syria border leaves Israel in a no-win situation – Ha’aretz (news.google.com)
- “Deadly clash on border; IDF shoots Syrian infiltrators” and related posts (theyeshivaworld.com)
- G-d Smiled on NY: Largest Israel Day Parade Ever, As Naksa Day Protests Erupt along Israel’s Borders (atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com)
- The Naksa does not belong to the Palestinians – Ha’aretz (news.google.com)