JERUSALEM — Israel’s borders erupted in deadly clashes on Sunday as thousands of Palestinians — marching from Syria, Lebanon, Gazaand the West Bank — confronted Israeli troops to mark the anniversary of Israel’s creation. More than a dozen people were reported killed and scores injured in the unprecedented wave of coordinated protests.
Jalaa Marey/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
At the Lebanese border Israeli troops shot at hundreds of Palestinians trying to cross, killing 10 protesters and wounding more than 100, the Lebanese military said.
In the Golan Heights, about 100 Palestinians living in Syria breached a border fence and crowded into the village of Majdal Shams, waving Palestinian flags. Troops fired on the crowd, killing four of them.
Every year in mid-May many Palestinians mark what they call Nakba, or the catastrophe, the anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948 and the start of a war in which hundreds of thousands of Palestinians lost their homes through expulsion and flight.
But this is the first year that Palestinian refugees in Syria and Lebanon tried to breach the Israeli military border in marches inspired by recent popular protests around the Arab world. Here too, word about the rallies was spread on social media sites.
“The Palestinians are not less rebellious than other Arab peoples,” said Ali Baraka, a Hamas representative in Lebanon.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said the day’s protests were aimed not at creating a Palestinian state alongside Israel but at destroying Israel.