Israeli Army Kills 13 Protesters on Palestinian Day of Remembrance
On the emotional day of mourning that commemorates the 1948 forced eviction of some 700,000 Palestinians from their homeland by Zionist settlers in the newly-declared Jewish state of Israel, 13 Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces. Dozens more were wounded.
According to the Toronto Star, the dead were amongst thousands of Palestinians who attempted– some successfully– to enter Israel from Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and the occupied West Bank. Israeli security forces were caught by surprise and scrambled to repel the massive multi-front incursion.
Dozens of Palestinians made it across the Syrian border and briefly marched on a Druze town inside Israel for several hours before being rounded up and deported back across the border.
Thousands more Palestinians attempted to infiltrate Israel through Gaza and the West Bank as well.
Israel blamed the incident on Iran and Syria. “We are seeing here an Iranian provocation, on both the Syrian and Lebanese frontiers, to try to exploit the Nakba day,” Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Yoav Mordechai told the Toronto Star.
Israeli authorities also said they think Syria encouraged the protests in order to deflect attention from the ongoing slaughter of Syrian protesters by the Bashar Assad regime.
The Israeli government is claiming that the ten protesters killed on the Lebanese border were killed by Lebanese forces and not Israel. It also accused the Palestinians of trying to provoke a violent Israeli response in order to gain international sympathy.
“There is nothing peaceful about these protests,” IDF spokesman Barak Raz told the Star. “They are being launched from states that are in a state of war with Israel. Israel’s response was selective and pinpointed the instigators and inciters.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas vowed that the protests will continue. “The blood of those killed fighting for the Palestinians will not go to waste,” he declared.
The Nakba, or “catastrophe,” occurred in 1948 when Zionists expelled, often brutally, 700,000 Palestinians from their homes to make way for the newly-created Jewish state of Israel. Hundreds of Arab villages were literally wiped off the map, and the hapless Palestinians were forced into refugee camps in neighboring countries. Today, some 4 million of their descendants live in the West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. The still hold out hope that they will be able to return to their beloved homeland one day, but Israel has no intention of allowing this to happen.
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