April 19, 2019

Israeli soldiers fire on palestinian protesters

Thousands of people rushing at border crossings is a recipe for disaster. Perhaps that is what they wanted.

Israeli soldiers have fired on groups of palestinian protesters on Israel’s border Palestinian territories, Syria and Lebanon.

Reports say that at least 12 people have been killed and dozens injured. Clashes have been taking place at four separate borders or crossing points – at Erez in Gaza, near Ramallah in the West Bank, on the Golan Heights and at the border with Lebanon.

The Palestinians are marking the Nakba (Catastrophe), their term for the founding of the Israeli state in 1948, when Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced out of their homes in fighting after its creation.

On the occupied Golan Heights, the Israeli military said it had only fired warning shots as a large number of protesters tried to breach a border fence near the village of Majdal Shams.

But reports said at least two people had been killed and dozens injured.

Israel’s army says this is a “serious” incursion. Brig Gen Yoav Mordechai said soldiers were still trying to control the crowds and that dozens of protesters had crossed.

In a televised address, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he hoped “calm and quiet will quickly return, but let nobody be mistaken, we are determined to defend our borders and sovereignty”.

On the Lebanon-Israel border, a large number of protesters also approached the crossing with Israel.

Dozens of buses had brought protesters to the area under the rally slogan of “March for the return to Palestine”.

Lebanese soldiers had fired in the air to try to disperse the protesters, who were chanting: “By our soul, our blood, we sacrifice ourselves for you, Palestine.”

Gen Mordechai says Israeli troops fired as demonstrators began vandalising the fence.

Lebanese military officials say 10 people have been killed and scores wounded.

“On the Israel-Gaza frontier, at the Erez border crossing, Israeli troops opened fire with tanks and machine guns, injuring dozens, Palestinian medical officials said.

The Palestinain protests have certainly been given impetus from the uprisings in the Middle -East and North Africa in recent months.

However, there is certainly the hand of foreign governments in this, especially Syria. With growing protests against the government in Syria, a provocation with Israel is a welcome relief to focus people on what they see as a greater enemy.

Thousands of people do not get to move close to boders in a country like Syria unless the authorities are condonong it.

Rather than the wholesale condemnation of Israel, the Palestinians and Syrians need to bear some of the responsibility. What is Israel supposed to do? Just stand aside when thousands are trying to cross the border illegally?

There is blame on both sides in the latest violence, but newswarped is continually frustrated by those on the Palestinian side who whip up young people into a frenzy that results in tragedy, but they themselves do not stand in the front line to face the bullets.