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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid