15/05/2011 - Israeli troops shot Palestinian protesters who surged towards its frontiers with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza on Sunday, killing at least 13 people on the day Palestinians mourn the establishment of Israel in 1948.
In the deadliest such confrontation in years of anniversary clashes usually confined to the West Bank and Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire in three separate border locations to prevent crowds of demonstrators from crossing frontier lines.
The new challenge to Israel came from the borders of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Gaza -- all home to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who fled or were driven out in 1948.
Combined with a public relations disaster last year over the killing of pro-Palestinian activists in the so-called Gaza flotilla and a determined Palestinian diplomatic drive to win United Nations recognition of statehood in September this year, the bloody border protests raised the stakes further for Israel.
...Israeli security forces had been on alert for violence on Sunday, the day Palestinians mourn the "Nakba," or catastrophe, of Israel's founding in a 1948 war, when hundreds of thousands of their brethren fled or were forced to leave their homes.
A call had gone out on Facebook urging Palestinians to demonstrate on Israel's borders.
Lebanon's army said 10 Palestinians died as Israeli forces shot at rock-throwing protesters to prevent them from entering the Jewish State from Lebanese territory.
They said 112 people had been wounded in the shooting incident in the Lebanese border village of Maroun al-Ras.
"The protesters overcame the Lebanese army and marched towards the security fence and started throwing stones," Reuters cameraman Ezzat Baltaji said, from Maroun al-Ras village.
Syrian media reports said Israeli gunfire killed two people after dozens of Palestinians infiltrated the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights from Syria, along a front line that has been largely tranquil for decades.
Sunday, 15 May 2011
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