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Ban Ki-Moon Blames Israel, Also Arabs for Nakba Day Riots

UN report says Israel used excessive force during Nakba Day riots, chides Arab demonstrators who behaved 'provocatively'.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 7/7/2011, 6:45 AM / Last Update: 7/7/2011, 8:26 AM

Flash 90

A UN report has placed the blame on both Israel and Arabs for the “Nakba Day” riots along the Israeli-Lebanese border, Reuters reported Wednesday.

The UN report claims Israel used force “not commensurate to the threat” when it fired live ammunition during the demonstration.

At the same time, the report notes that the Arab protesters also behaved in a provocative and violent way.

The UN report said that seven people died during the riot. This figure was revised down from eleven people who were initially reported killed.

The report came from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s office and is based on an investigation carried out by UNIFIL, the United Nation’s force in Lebanon, Reuters said.

UNIFIL’s preliminary findings had said the demonstrators, “in throwing stones and petrol bombs across the Israeli technical fence and the Blue Line ... carried out a provocative and violent act that constitutes a violation of resolution 1701.”

Resolution 1701, adopted by the UN Security Council in August 2006 following the Second Lebanon War, called for a full cessation of hostilities between Israel and the Lebanon-based Hizbullah terror group. There has been ample proof, however, that Hizbullah has violated this resolution, but nothing has been done about it by the UN.

UNIFIL also said that the “firing of live ammunition by the Israel Defense Forces across the Blue Line against the demonstrators” also “constituted a violation of resolution 1701 and was not commensurate to the threat to Israeli soldiers.”

Ban’s spokeswoman was quoted by the news agency as having told journalists Ban “stands by his conclusions and observations.”

The UN report calls on Lebanese Armed Forces and Lebanese authorities to “enforce law and order in the area and to prevent any incident on the Blue Line.”

It also calls on Israel to “refrain from responding with live fire in such situations, except where clearly required in immediate self-defense.”

The UN report does not deal with the other major incident that occurred on Nakba Day, when nearly 1,000 Syrian Arabs invaded the Golan Heights and entered the village of Majdal Shams.