News / Middle East

Israeli Troops Fire at Protesters at Golan Heights Border

Israeli soldiers take aim next to the Syrian-Israeli border fence near the Druze village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, June 5, 2011
Israeli soldiers take aim next to the Syrian-Israeli border fence near the Druze village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, June 5, 2011
Luis Ramirez

Israeli troops have opened fire on pro-Palestinian demonstrators who allegedly tried to cross the fence separating Syria from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Syrian state media report at least 20 people were killed. Among those reported killed were a woman and child. The incident was part of a wave of Palestinian demonstrations marking the 44th anniversary of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Israeli soldiers opened fire after warning hundreds of demonstrators from Syria to stay away from the barbed wire fence that marks the boundary.

Palestinian demonstrators and their Syrian supporters approached the fence, waving Palestinian flags and chanting slogans insisting the land Israel captured in the 1967 war is Arab land.

The demonstration has been planned for weeks, and Israel had prepared by deploying thousands of soldiers and reinforcing the fence. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he instructed security forces to act with "maximum restraint."

He said 'extremist forces' surrounding Israel are trying to breach its borders and threaten its communities and citizens. He stressed Israel will not let them do that.

Activists called the demonstrations to mark the anniversary of the 1967 war in which Israel fought Jordan, Syria, and Egypt, and won control of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, and the Sinai Peninsula.  

Israel has since returned the Sinai to Egypt and disengaged from the Gaza Strip.

In the Gaza Strip, hundreds marched near the main Israeli checkpoint.

Protests turned violent at the Qalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and the West Bank town of Ramallah, where some demonstrators threw rocks at Israeli soldiers who fired tear gas and rubber bullets.

Sari, a student from Ramallah, said the aim of the protests is to call international attention to the Palestinians' cause. He added that Israeli forces may have helped the demonstrators by using force.

"We want to prove to the whole world who is using violence. It is obvious. You know who is using violence right now. Look at me. Do I have anything on me? No. We are trained on methods like (those of) Ghandi, like Martin Luther King, Mandela. We believe in that and we are going to stay using our nonviolent methods until the world sees who is the real oppressor," said Sari.

The demonstrations are the latest in a series of coordinated protests called by activists to occur before September, when Palestinian leaders plan to go to the United Nations to apply for full membership as an independent state.

The Palestinians are trying to gather international support for the move, which they say they are pushing as a result of last year's collapse of peace negotiations with Israel.

Watch footage of the stand-off:

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid