Globalization: Social & Geographic Perspectives

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Protests on Israel’s Borders for Nakba

May 16th, 2011 · 2 Comments
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To add to all the chaos that has been going on in the Middle East these past few months, there were protests that happened on both the Israel-Syria border and the Israel-Lebanon border. Yesterday was Nakba, or the day of “Catastrophe” according to the Palestinians. It is a day of mourning that marks the birth of the state of Israel in 1948. Yesterday,¬†protesters¬†entered Israel from Syria. As the NYTimes wrote:

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.

What many people don’t realize is that if Syrians cross the border into Israel, they need to get permission from the Syrian army to do so and any entering into the state is seen as a threat of warfare. (As it would be if the roles were reversed and Israel should enter Syria) There is an agreement which states both countries will not be entered.
The news reports have shown the protests but reporters did not get there in time for when the real trouble began: when hundreds entered Israel with the threat of violence.
A friend of mine is a soldier who was on the scene and he explained to me:

what happened was that initially about 100 or so people crossed the border and started rioting in the middle of majdel shams which is in israel they were throwing rocks at soldiers what is done in a situation like this is first you fire warning shots in the air, then at the ground near the rioters if that doesnt work you shoot at their lower body when you have 100 people some are bound to fall over and have the bullets not hit the lower body but the fact is these were citizens of a hostile country who illegally crossed a border into israel and tried attacking its soldiers

Syria has been punishing its protesters these past few months but now when they threaten political and physical harm on Israel, they of course blame Israel.

(This picture was on the NYTimes website, in addition to others, and my friend is actually in the shot.)

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1    dianab // May 16, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    I believe the military responded appropriately. This was a terrorist action meant to instill fear. It doesn’t matter that it was just 100 people involved; imagine the damage that 100 hate-filled people can do.

    This post was very informative and I thank your friend and his team for their service.

  • 2    mikesans76 // May 17, 2011 at 10:38 am

    Yet another said chapter in what seems to be a pointless and brutal war in that terrirtory. Yes, Syria should have done more to curb the incident as they have full understanding of the toxic and dangerous atmosphere that is along their borders. However, these were not soldiers and not terroist just people who view Israel as a oppresive state. The Israli and Syrian states need to do a much better job of handling these types of situations as they have be constant since 1948 and thousands of years before. Both governments did nothing to prevent this situation get into yet another blood soaked episode. Isarael is the more modern of the two states and has plenty of capability to curb such aggresion without the use of such lethal force. Imagine if the US shot Mexicans crossing the border. Hundreds of Mexicans cross the border everyday, some are quite dangerous as they are armed bandits or drug dealers. If the governments in that region do not change their policies on how to deal with these issue’s that war will continue and continue and all that will matter is the many that will continue to die. Quite frankly I don’t think anybody really wants to change anything in that territory.

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