Sources say 2-4 Syrians dead as IDF opens fire on Nakba Day rioters crossing border at Majdal Shams; 4 protesters reportedly killed on Lebanon border; IDF spokesperson: “Iran-Hezbollah-Hamas axis very clear.”
IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav “Poli” Mordechai described the incident in which pro-Palestinians demonstrators crossed from Syria into Israel as an “Iranian provocation”on Sunday.
“The radical axis of Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas is very clear,” Brig.-Gen. Yoav “Poli” Mordechai told Channel 10 News.
“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,” he said.
Several dozen pro-Palestinian protesters crossed the Syrian border into the Golan Heights on Sunday. Sources reported between two to four Syrians dead and 10-20 people injured in ensuing clashes.
The incident occurred at the “Screaming Hill,” where Syrian Druse and Israeli Druse families separated by the northern border are known to yell messages to each other. Several dozen Syrians crossed the hill, and IDF soldiers shot into the air to stop the infiltrators.
“The IDF has now stopped the advance of protesters at Syrian border and are dealing with those who infiltrated,” Mordechai added.
‘IDF holds Syrian gov’t responsible for violent protests’
A senior IDF officer told The Jerusalem Post that Israel views the Syrian government as responsible for the violent protests, and the IDF is trying to push back the infiltrators.
Another Israeli official said, “this is a cynical and transparent act by the Syrian regime to create a crisis on the border with Israel in order to distract public opinion from the very real problems at home.”
“Syria is a police state. This sort of thing could not happen without the support of the regime. It is clear they wanted this to play the Israel card, in order to silence their own democratic opposition,” the official said.
Magen David Adom estimated 10-20 protesters were injured, as well as three lightly injured Israelis, but the IDF was unable to confirm the numbers.
Hundreds of protesters were rioting on the Syrian side of the border, as part of Nakba Day demonstrations.
IDF forces were on guard at the scene, attempting control the demonstrators. The area was declared a closed military zone.
Lebanon witnesses: 4 dead as IDF opens fire on border
In addition, IDF soldiers fired in the air to repel Palestinians demonstrating at Maroun a-Ras, on the Lebanese-Israeli border, killing four and wounding more than 10 people, witnesses said.
“Hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinians approached the fence at Marun Aras. The Lebanese army did not stop them. When IDF saw them attempting to destroy fence, they took steps to stop them,” Mordechai told Channel 10.
Police mobilized the Lebanon Border Unit, the Counter-Terrorism Unit and other special units to the North.
Northern district head Cmdr. Zohar Dvir is holding a joint evaluation meeting with the IDF’s northern command. Hundreds of police and Border police are in the Majdal Shams area to locate Syrian nationals who infiltrated the border.
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.