At least 10 people killed, more than 100 injured in clashes along Israel’s borders

May 15th, 2011 - 11:14 pm ICT by BNO News  

RAMALLAH (BNO NEWS) — At least 10 people were killed and more than 100 others were injured on Sunday when Israeli troops clashed with violent protesters in Palestine, Syria and Lebanon, reports said.

According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), hundreds of Syrian rioters infiltrated the Israeli-Syrian border into the village of Majdal Shams, a disputed village which has been controlled by Israel since the Six-Day War in 1967. The village is still claimed by Syria.

“[The rioters], in the center of the village, violently rioted against IDF forces,” an IDF spokesperson said. “In [an] attempt to turn the rioters back to Syria, forces fired selectively towards rioters who were targeting security infrastructure and some were injured as a result.”

Meanwhile, along the Lebanese border, at least four civilians were killed and 30 others were injured when Israeli soldiers opened fire at Palestinian protesters who were reportedly marking the Nakba, which marks the creation of the state of Israel and the expulsion of Palestinians.

According to the IDF, its forces fired warning shots in response to rioters which were allegedly attempting to breach the border fence and infiltrate into Israeli territory. “IDF forces and Israel Police forces are operating to restore order in these locations,” the IDF said.

There were no reports of fatalities among IDF forces in both incidents, but the force said three IDF officers and 10 IDF soldiers were injured. Their conditions were not immediately known.

“The IDF sees the governments of Syria and Lebanon as responsible for any violence or provocation towards Israel that emanates from their respective territories,” the force said. “The IDF emphasizes that attempts to damage property or cause harm to security forces will be responded to,” it warned.

Riots also broke out in several locations throughout the West Bank, reportedly injuring 30 people when Israeli forces fired live rounds and tear gas at protesters. According to the IDF, the rioters allegedly threw rocks and fire bombs while burning tires.

In Qalandiya, which is located south of Ramallah, the IDF said around 600 Palestinians turned against IDF forces. “During this riot, rocks were hurled, as were flares, at security forces who have been responding with riot dispersal means,” an IDF spokesperson said.

The IDF also alleged that a number of rioters were seen hiding behind ambulances for cover while hurling rocks at IDF forces. “IDF forces have been responding with riot dispersal means to contain these riots and thus far have been persistent in their efforts,” the spokesperson added.

Riots were also reported to have taken place in several sites of the Gaza Strip, including an area adjacent to the Erez Crossing. The clashes in the Gaza Strip reportedly left one journalist and one civilian killed. Around 40 others were said to be injured.

“Hundreds of Palestinian rioters are hurling rocks at IDF forces,” the IDF said. “The rioters arrived at the humanitarian aid crossing and caused damage to its structures. Soldiers fired in a controlled manner in the direction, and towards the legs of the leading rioters, in order to disperse them and prevent them from entering Israeli territory. A number of rioters were injured as a result.”

In addition, the IDF said, its forces also identified a suspect who was allegedly planting an explosive device along the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip. “IDF soldiers fired towards the suspects, identifying a hit,” the IDF said. “Terrorist organizations are constantly operating with the objective to harm Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers, and have previously attempted to execute terrorist activities near the various crossings carrying humanitarian aid into Gaza.”

The Jerusalem Post reported that IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav “Poli” Mordechai said on Sunday that the incident in Syria was an “Iranian provocation”.

“The radical axis of Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas is very clear”, Brig.-Gen. Yoav “Poli” Mordechai said. “We have one incident in Maroun a-Ras area on the Lebanese border and a second one at Majdal Shams, where we see fingerprints of Iranian provocation aimed at creating friction.”

Earlier this week, the Israeli army announced that it would increase deployment of troops in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and borders after Facebook groups called for civil disobedience in the Palestinian territories and rallies near Israeli borders.

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