News / Middle East

Israel Accuses Syria of Inciting Golan Violence

Pro Palestinians protesters run from tear gas fired by Israeli troops along the border between Israel and Syria near the village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, Sunday, June 5, 2011
Pro Palestinians protesters run from tear gas fired by Israeli troops along the border between Israel and Syria near the village of Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights, Sunday, June 5, 2011
Luis Ramirez

Israel plans to file a complaint at the United Nations accusing Syria of inciting violence along its boundary with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.  On Sunday, Israeli troops fired at pro-Palestinian demonstrators who tried to breach the fence. Syria says at least 23 people were killed.

Israeli soldiers on Monday repaired the parts of the barbed wire that Israel said protesters cut as they tried to enter Israeli-controlled territory in the Golan Heights.

A number of demonstrators continued to camp on the Syrian side of the fence Monday, but reports say Syrian police started blocking any more of them from approaching the barrier.

Dead protesters

Syrian television on Monday showed the funerals of the dead protesters.  A relative of one of the dead accused Israel of using disproportionate force.

The mourner says Israeli snipers fired at unarmed demonstrators who used - in the mourner's words - "only stones and flags" to confront Israeli security forces.

The demonstration was part of a larger series of protests Sunday that Palestinians held to mark the anniversary of Israel's 1967 war with Jordan, Egypt, and Syria that resulted in the Israeli capture of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip, and the Sinai Peninsula.

Organizers said their strategy was to use nonviolent means. Some protesters said they hope to gain international support by demonstrating peacefully and letting Israel appear as the aggressor.

Dispute over victims

Israel countered Syrian reports that Israeli soldiers killed protesters during Sunday's violence in the Golan Heights.  The Israeli army says 10 people died in the boundary area -- but not as a result of Israeli gunfire.  

An army official says protesters hurled firebombs that struck old Syrian landmines and caused them to explode - resulting in the deaths.

Israeli officials defended their troops' use of live fire and said soldiers were instructed to shoot only at the feet of those who tried to breach the border fence.

Did Syria incite protests?

Speaking on Israeli radio, Defense Minister Ehud Barak accused Syria of inciting the demonstrations along the Golan fence to deflect attention from the Assad leadership's crackdown on Syrian anti-government demonstrators.

He said the responsibility for the violence and loss of life falls on Syria, where he said 1,200 people have been killed in the last three months. Barak said Syria could be encouraging the unrest along the border because it diverts attention from the uprising at home.  He said Israel has no choice but to protect its border.

May 15 protest

The Golan Heights boundary had been tense but largely peaceful for decades until May 15 when demonstrators breached the fence and entered Israeli-held territory.  In that incident, Israeli forces also opened fire. At least four demonstrators were killed.

Palestinian activists say they plan to hold more demonstrations in the months leading up to September, when leaders will seek full membership in the United Nations as an independent Palestinian state.   

Palestinian leaders say they are pushing ahead with the plan out of frustration, following the collapse of peace talks with Israel last September.

Video footage of clash

 

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

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL 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.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid