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Syrian Infiltrator Reached Tel Aviv

One of the Syrian infiltrators got as far as Tel Aviv and later turned himself in using a news correspondent. "I wanted to visit Jaffa," he said.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 5/17/2011, 12:58 AM / Last Update: 5/17/2011, 2:16 AM

Flash 90

A Syrian citizen who had participated in the massive border crossing into Israel near Majdal Shams on Sunday got as far as Tel Aviv, wandered around the city during the day, and then turned himself in using a Channel 10 news correspondent.

The Syrian is Hassan Hijazi, an official with the Syrian Ministry of Education whose family is originally from Jaffa. Hijazi said during an interview with Channel 10’s Tzvi Yehezkeli, who had later turned him in, that he took advantage of the commotion in the square in Majdal Shams and managed to leave the Golan Heights area with the help of local Arabs and Jewish left-wing activists.

“My dream was to get to Jaffa, the city where I was born, but I expected that when I get to do it, I would be accompanied with millions of others as I read on Facebook,” Hijazi said during the interview.

He said that he traveled on a bus along with soldiers from the Golani Brigade. “I do not care about Israeli law, I do not recognize the so-called State of Israel,” he said.

Regarding the Syrian regime’s involvement in the infiltration, Hijazi said that the regime initially opposed the idea, but eventually agreed after pressure from Hizbullah.

Sunday’s mass demonstrations in Majdal Shams were held on both sides of the Israel-Syria border in honor of Nakba Day, the “catastrophe” that the Arabs consider Israel's declaration of independence.

The Arabs began by throwing rocks at a small IDF force from both sides, and later broke down a fence, following which over 100 Syrians infiltrated Israel.

While most of the infiltrators had returned to Syria by Sunday night, the IDF continued on Monday to pursue and arrest the few remaining ones.