Violence kills 12 along Israeli borders | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 16, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 16, 2011

Israel-Palestine Conflict

Violence kills 12 along Israeli borders


Palestinians carry a wounded protester after Israeli troops opened fire at a mass rally heading towards the Erez border crossing in the northern Gaza Strip yesterday.Photo: AFP

Israeli gunfire killed 12 people and wounded hundreds yesterday as Palestinians marched on Israel's borders with Lebanon, Syria and Gaza in a mass show of mourning over the creation of the Jewish state.
Tensions along the Israeli-Syrian frontier spiralled as thousands of protesters from Syria tried to force their way into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, prompting the army to open fire in one of the worst incidents of violence there since a 1974 truce accord.
Syria lashed out at Israel for the bloodshed, warning that the Jewish state would bear full responsibility for its "criminal" actions.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Israel would continue to protect its borders faced with those who sought its destruction.
"Their struggle is not over the 1967 borders, but it questions the very existence of Israel, which they describe as a catastrophe which must be resolved," he said in a televised address.
"We are determined to defend our borders and our sovereignty."
A Druze doctor from Majdal Shams who rushed to the scene told AFP he saw at least two bodies, with local paramedics confirming the same toll, saying one had been shot in the head, and the second in the chest.
They also treated 20 people for light to moderate injuries.
Along the Lebanese border, Israeli gunfire killed 10 people and wounded 110 as thousands of mainly Palestinian refugees demonstrated along the tense frontier, medical sources said.
And along Gaza's northern border with Israel, 125 people were injured, five of them seriously, when troops opened fired as more than a thousand Palestinians marched on the Erez crossing.
The Israeli army issued a statement saying "hundreds of Syrian rioters" had crossed onto the Israeli side, and in response troops had "fired selectively" towards them, injuring an unspecified number.
Protesters in southern Lebanon had tried to cross the border into Israel, the statement added, saying troops had fired warning shots towards them.
Three army officers and 10 soldiers had been injured during the two incidents, it said, blaming Damascus and Beirut for the violence.
Elsewhere, at least 29 others were injured in clashes across annexed east Jerusalem and in the West Bank.
Since Friday, Palestinians and Arab Israelis staged a series of events in the run-up to Sunday's anniversary, marking the anniversary of Israel's creation in 1948, in an event referred to in Arabic as the "nakba" or "catastrophe."
More than 760,000 Palestinians were pushed into exile or driven out of their homes in the conflict that accompanied the Jewish state's foundation.

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