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At Least 12 Killed as Palestinians Breach Israel’s Borders on Nakba Day (VIDEO)

At Least 12 Killed as Palestinians Breach Israel’s Borders on Nakba Day (VIDEO)

At least 12 have reportedly died and dozens were injured today as Israeli troops fired on protesters marching from Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and the Left Bank to mark Nakba Day, the anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948. Nakba means “catastrophe”; for Palestinians, the day commemorates the 1948 War in which hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had to leave their homes and became refugees, says the BBC

The marchers attempted to cross Israel’s borders in protests that appeared to be coordinated. Via a Facebook page, Palestinian activists had called for a mass uprising against Israel on May 15. The reports that another Facebook page calling for a third Palestinian intifada, or uprising, had more than 300,000 members before it was taken down in March “after complaints that comments posted to the page were advocating violence,” says the New York Times.

Yoni Ben-Menachem, Israel Radio’s chief Arab affairs analyst, said in the New York Times that it seems likely that President Bashar al-Assad allowed confrontations on the Golan Heights for the first time in years as a diversion from the political unrest that have been going on in Syria for almost two months. Ben-Menachem added:

This way Syria makes its contribution to the Nakba day cause and Assad wins points by deflecting the media’s attention from what is happening inside Syria.

Thousands of Palestinian supporters from Syria entered the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967. The Israeli military reports that Syrians “breached the Israel-Syria border near the Israeli village of Majdal Shams” and that Israeli forces “opened fire in order to prevent the violent rioters from illegally infiltrating Israeli territory.” says the Guardian. Four were killed and up to 20 injured.

At the Gaza border, at least 15 Palestinian teenagers, all under 18, were wounded when Israeli troops fired two tank shells and “several rounds from machine guns,” according to the Guardian. Protesters had approached the heavily fortified Erez border crossing.

In Lebanon, thousands of Palestinian refugees traveled from the twelve refugee camps in Lebanon where some 400,000 Palestinians live, to the southern border village of Maroun el-Rass, via buses with banners proclaiming “We are returning.” Hezbollah is believed to have helped coordinate the march, says the New York Times. Hundreds of Lebanese soldiers, UN peacekeepers and riot police were stationed in the area. A small group of Palestinian youths threw stones and were stopped by Lebanese soldiers.

In the West Bank, Israeli forces fired rubber bullets at about 200 Palestinians and supporters marching towards the Qalandia crossing on the edge of Jerusalem. Unrest was also reported in East Jerusalem after the death of a 17-year-old Palestinian boy who had been shot in the stomach on Friday and died the next day.

Police were also on high alert within Israel. Earlier Sunday morning in Tel Aviv, an Israeli-Arab truck driver drove into a car, a bus and pedestrians, killing one and injuring many. While police described the incident as a terrorist attack, the 22-year-old driver claimed it was an accident.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel described the day’s protests as “aimed not at creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel but at destroying Israel” in a televised statement:

The leaders of these violent demonstrations, their struggle is not over the 1967 borders but over the very existence of Israel which they describe as a catastrophe that must be resolved. It is important that we look with open eyes at the reality and be aware of whom we are dealing with and what we are dealing with.

Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator, said the protests reflect the “urgency” for political action for Palestinians:

This just shows how much we need a solution to this problem. We cannot solve it with bullets. The Israelis believe that the older generation will die out and the younger one will forget. But this is political blindness.

The New York Times notes that “violence could return to define this conflict, which has been relatively quiet for the past two years.” In September, the United Nations is to put forth a request for declare Palestinian statehood.

The video below shows Nakba Day at the Qalandia refugee camp located between Jerusalem and Ramallah.

 

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Photo: Map of Israel, Lebanon and Syria from Wikimedia Commons.

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81 comments

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9:59PM PDT on Aug 21, 2011

Wow, Will, that's an amazing summary of Jewish history you've created. Mostly fictional, but kudos on your creativity.

3:22AM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

Continued... And with the help of their allies began to destroy and displace the locals. (palestinians) People who had been there longer than anyone else. On the land where the bones of their ancestors were buried. They were forced off and herded into makeshift concentration camps to die and be forgotten. And here we are now. No peace without justice and truth.

3:20AM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

Let's take religion out of it and any mythical promises made by god, go back to the beginning and look at the facts. Thousands of years ago the Jews left Egypt and wandered around looking for land. Thing is, where did they come from before they went to Egypt? It obviously wasn't Israel as they had never been there before. They were not returning to a promised land. So where did they come from? Anyway, they went to Philistia. (palestine) The land of the philistines where they violently subdued the philistines. After several hundred years of rule they in turn was subdued by the romans who in turn was eventually defeated by the Persians.
Several thousand years later many Europeans, especially Russians. Adopted the religion as their own. And latched on their own customs such as the black clothing, suits and hats and the Yiddish language. They become an economic force because at that time  Christianity was opposed to money lending with interest. This also caused some enmity because lending money always does! and so a backlash against them began. They were persecuted by most of their neighbours, the Russians with their pogroms, the nazis and their death camps. Terrible times for the Jews! so after the war the Europeans, including European Americans, decide to honour their mythical prophesy of a homeland. Unfortunately they chose the land of their traditional enemies. Literally the worst place on earth for the Jews! Phillistia! Palestine. And with the help of their allies bega

10:40AM PDT on Jun 17, 2011

Well stated Steve Yakoban.

7:43PM PDT on Jun 6, 2011

We should all pray that the Palestinian people find justice someday.

1:30PM PDT on May 23, 2011

Scott Freewheeler proclaims, "How can Israel even have an Independance day? It was a murderous invasion into a peaceful land." I wonder what Disney cartoon he gets his history from. This area has NEVER been a "peaceful land." Modern Israel was carved out of land in the British Empire, which took it from the Ottoman Empire, and so on through the Roman and Greek Empires, back to the original Israel (a Jewish nation), and so on. The one thing it NEVER was was a country called "Palestine."

3:49PM PDT on May 21, 2011

There was no room for this paragraph of Jewish teaching in my last post. Even though I am not officially Jewish, I recognise compassion and truth when I see it;

"So, too, in matters affecting a person's relations with his fellow, as soon as there rises from his heart to his mind any animosity or hatred, G-d forbid, or jealousy, anger, or a grudge and the like, he allows them no entrance into his mind and will. On the contrary, his mind exercises its authority and power over the feelings in his heart to do the very opposite, namely, to conduct himself towards his fellow with the quality of kindness and a display of abundant love to the extreme limits, without becoming provoked into anger, G-d forbid, or to revenge in kind, G-d forbid, but rather to repay the offenders with favors, as taught in the Zohar, that one should learn from the example of Yosef [Joseph] towards his brothers." —Tanya, ch. 12

There was never any wish to cohabit peacefully in Palestine by the Zionist movement which slaughtered so many.

Most Jews reject violent Zionism entirely as can be evidenced by the many Jewish groups that so bravely campaign and protest the atrocities committed against the Palestinians.

Nothing is more moving for me than to see a Jewish man protecting his Arab brothers at great risk to his own safety.

May G-d bless all the believers from all the great faiths and keep them safe from all evils. Subhan’Allah.

3:36PM PDT on May 21, 2011

To call Israel a Jewish state is a misnomer. Zionism is as far from Judaism as Hitler was from Christianity. Please never think that Israeli actions represent Judaism; often it couldn’t be farther apart.

Here are some of the beautiful teachings of Judaism for us to compare with Israeli government policy;

“That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.”
—Talmud, Shabbat 31a, the "Great Principle"

“You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against your kinsfolk. Love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.” —Leviticus 19:18

"Love your fellow as yourself — Rabbi Akiva says this is a great principle of the Torah."

“The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I the LORD am your G-d.” —Leviticus 19:34[51]

How can Israel even have an Independance day? It was a murderous invasion into a peaceful land.

I wonder how Charles W. would feel if his homeland was subjected to 33 massacres and murderous invasion by a foreign army. Would he be content to 'pound sand' and go and try to make a life elsewhere?

1:22PM PDT on May 21, 2011

Palistinians--go pound sand. The Jews won, so deal with it. Go let your oil rich relatives take care of you.

4:47PM PDT on May 17, 2011

"...day commemorates the 1948 War in which hundreds of thousands of Palestinians had to leave their homes and became refugees, says the BBC." Leave it to the British to leave this statement hanging. There is a lot more to this story than what is revealed here.


"The Israelis believe that the older generation will die out and the younger one will forget. But this is political blindness." Can you really believe this. Come on. Hamas and Hezbollah having been sacraficing Palestinian children for decades. They have past their hatred from one generation to the next. So why would any sane Israeli believe the next generation would be different.

During the past 68 years there has been enough pain and fear caused by Israel, Palestinians, Syria, Egypt, Jordan and others. There is plenty of blame and shame to go around. To insinuate that the current situation has all to do with Israel is just plain foolish.

It is going to take a very special person(s) to lead these folks to peace. Perhaps and hopefully their own people overthorwing Africa and Middle East dictatorships will be the start. It is in the interest of all these dictators to have Palestine to fight about. They couldn't care less about the Palestinian people and they have all proven that over the years. Perhaps getting rid of them, by their own people, will be the next first step towards peace.

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