The Palestinians have been itching to get in on the action with the Arab “spring” and finally found their excuse today with the commemoration of Israel’s independence – what they call their Naqba.
Syrian infiltrators breached the border fence and entered Israel; and Lebanese protestors demonstrate at the border near Moshav Avivim . The IDF opened fire, reportedly killing 4 and wounding dozens. The numbers keep changing, up and down, so check later reports. Take all Arab-sourced reports with a large grain of salt.
Magen David Adom ambulance service reported one Syrian fatality and three lightly wounded Israelis on the Israeli side of the border, in the Druze village of Majdal Shams, and some 10-20 casualties on the Syrian side of the border.
According to the al-Arabiya network, at least four people were killed in the incident.
Meanwhile, thousands of Lebanese citizens gathered at the Maroun al-Ras boardwalk near Moshav Avivim to protest on “Nakba Day.” Lebanese Army forces pushed them away from the border by firing warning shots in the air.
According to later reports, Israeli forces also fired in the air to repel Palestinians demonstrating at the border and more than 10 people were wounded, witnesses said. Al-Jazeera said four people were killed and 15 were hurt …
According to Haaretz, 8 Palestinians were killed in all, 4 on the Syrian border, 4 on the Lebanese border.
Four people were reportedly shot dead by Israel Defense Forces troops Sunday as they opened fire on large numbers of infiltrators trying to breach Syria’s southern border with Israel. Another four people were said to have been killed on the Lebanese side of its shared frontier with Israel, as Palestinian protests for the annual Nakba Day. which mourns the creation of the State of Israel, took hold across the region.
In Majdal Shams, which runs along the Israel-Syria border, scores of Palestinian refugees from Syria spilled into the town. The Magen David Adom rescue service said about a dozen others had been wounded. The Israel Defense Forces confirmed opening fire on infiltrators.
About 70 people, most of them Palestinian refugees, managed to cross the border, according to local residents. Initial reports had put the number of infiltrators into the hundreds.
Thousands of people gathered in the Lebanese town of Maroun a-Ras, where Palestinian protesters tried to push their way across the border, local media reports said, citing eyewitnesses. Four protesters were killed and 11 wounded in a shooting incident at the border where Palestinians were demonstrating, Lebanese security sources said.
Carrying Palestinian flags and chanting “we want our land back,” thousands of Palestinians tried to approach the electric fence that separates Lebanon from Israel, but Lebanese army troops fired in the air and ordered the crowd to return to where the rally was held.
The demonstrators pelted the Lebanese troops with stones as they struggled to hold them back from the fence.
But around 50 protesters managed to reach the fence and started throwing stones at the Israeli soldiers on the other side of the fence, prompting the IDF troops to fire bullets and tear gas at the protesters.
Israel blames both Syria and Iran for these protest provocations
IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav “Poli” Mordechai described the incident in which pro-Palestinians demonstrators crossed from Syria into Israel as an “Iranian provocation”on Sunday.
A senior IDF officer told The Jerusalem Post that Israel views the Syrian government as responsible for the violent protests, and the IDF is trying to push back the infiltrators.
Another Israeli official said, “this is a cyclical [did he mean cynical? -Ed.] and transparent act by the Syrian regime to create a crisis on the border with Israel in order to distract public opinion from the very real problems at home.”
“Syria is a police state. This sort of thing could not happen without the support of the regime. It is clear they wanted this to play the Israel card, in order to silence their own democratic opposition,” the official said.
Certainly the border infiltration is a breach of international law and the expert reckoning is that Assad wanted to distract domestic and international attention away from his repression of his own civilians.
The one unanswered questions that I have is: where were the vaunted UN peacekeepers who should have been stopping the protestors from ever approaching the border fence?
(This is more or less a rhetorical question. I can make an educated guess where they were: either in hiding or actively helping the “protestors”).
Earlier today, there was a suspected probable terrorist attack by vehicle in Tel Aviv, leaving one Israeli dead and 17 injured.
One man died and 17 people were injured in what police suspect was a terror attack in Tel AvivSunday morning, after a truck driving along Bar-Lev street hit and ran over several vehicles.
The fatality in the incident was identified as Aviv Morag, 28, from Givatayim.
An eyewitness told Ynet, “A truck driver was driving like a madman. At first I though it was an accident or a driver who lost control of his vehicle, but based on the speed and insane manner in which he was driving, it was clearly an attack. It’s scary that these things happen here.
“We yelled at him to stop, but he kept on going,” she said.
“He was completely possessed,” Yossi, another witness, told Israel Army Radio
Yet another witness, Shlomo said, “I saw the truck hurling cars like a game of bowling. When he saw the bus he crossed the junction and hit it and they both came under the bridge.
“Luckily, the bus was empty. A young man came off the truck, came towards me and yelled what sounded like ‘Allahu Akbar.’ He knocked over my phone. One girl who approached him was hurt, he hit her in the head with a traffic light. There are traffic lights scattered all over the road. Eventually an officer on a scooter came and caught him.”
Also, dozens of Palestinians were wounded by IDF fire when they approached the Gaza border fence.
The Palestinians wanted to mark their Naqba, and they made sure they got one today.