Syrian TV: 20 Dead in Clashes with IDF. Israeli Druze Join Riot
Syria says 277 were wounded in ‘Naksa Day’ rioting. Tear gas on rioters from Majdal Shams in Israeli Golan.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/5/2011, 6:50 PM / Last Update: 6/5/2011, 6:41 PM
Syrian TV reported 20 “Palestinian” Syrian Arabs dead Sunday afternoon as the Arabs attempted to provoke Israel on the anniversary of its victory over their armies in 1967.
The IDF released an 18-second video in which Israeli commanders are heard ordering their soldiers to cease firing in order to allow the Red Cross to evacuate casualties on the Syrian side.
Police also fired tear gas at rioting Druze residents of Majdal Shams, in Israel's Golan Heights, Sunday evening, after the rioters hurled rocks at IDF soldiers. The Druze emerged from their village in the Israeli Golan Heights and attacked the IDF soldiers from behind, as the soldiers were busy keeping Druze who live on the Syrian side of the border from crossing into Israel.
The IDF and rioters were reported to be playing a cat-and-mouse game since the morning hours, with about 1,000 Arabs standing on ridges near Quneitra and Majdal Shams. Occasionally, dozens of Arabs ran toward the border fence and tried to break through it, then ran back when they came under fire.
An old anti-tank mine was reported to have exploded in an area that was teeming with rioters. The detonation may have been set off by a fire. Syrian and Israeli fire trucks cooperated in putting out the blaze.
The IDF honored a Red Cross request in the afternoon to hold its fire in order to allow the Red Cross to evacuate wounded rioters.
Lebanon prevented rioting on its border with Israel, an IDF spokesman noted, but Syria did not do the same. Syria is believed to be encouraging clashes with the IDF, as part of an effort to draw attention away from the slaughter of Syrian protesters by security forces loyal to President Bashar Assad.