At least five Syrian Arabs were killed by Israeli soldiers after testing Israel’s determination to stop an infiltration, Syrian media reported Sunday. It also claimed that several Syrians managed to cross the border towards the Druze city of Majdal Shams.
IDF footage shows Syrian Arabs, several hundred yards north of the border, hurling rocks at Israeli soldiers, who warn them in Arabic to cease and turn back or face gunfire.
Quiet was maintained on the Israeli side of the border.
Syrian television showed live coverage of the clash, but footage revealed that the planned protests drew only a few hundred people. Approximately 10 people were wounded.
An IDF spokesman said that soldiers warned the Syrian in Arabic to turn back and fired warning shots in the air before firing at them. He added that he could not confirm the Syrian media report that three people were killed.
The spokesman also noted that Syria, unlike Lebanon, did not try to prevent the provocations. Three weeks ago, Syria encouraged protesters to clash with the IDF, as part of an effort to draw attention away from the slaughter of Syrian protesters by security forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
There were no reports of attempts to cross into Israel from Lebanon, whose army has declared its side of the border a closed military zone, as Israel has done on its side.
In Judea and Samaria, several hundred Palestinian Authority Arabs marched to the Kalandia crossing to northern Jerusalem and threw rocks at security officers. Quiet also was reported elsewhere.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Cabinet on Sunday morning that “we will not allow extremists” to violate Israel’s borders.