Jihadist groups and Israel’s hostile neighbors may see in this trend an opportunity to outsource some of the dirty work of the jihad to freelancers, and thus to reap all of the propaganda material with less effort and liability. They can trumpet to a credulous global press that Israel fired on “protesters,” as many a headline today emphasized.
Syria seems to have crossed several lines, however, in its level of sponsorship of these latest rampages. They will have a difficult time spinning these attempted invasions as being simply “spontaneous” or “grassroots” action. More on this story. “IDF rebuffs “˜Naksa” rioters trying to cross Syrian border,” by Yaakov Lappin and Herb Keinon for the Jerusalem Post, June 6:
Hundreds of Palestinian rioters repeatedly tried to infiltrate Israel throughout Sunday in two locations on the Syrian border, but were rebuffed by an IDF determined to prevent a repeat of the “Nakba Day” scenes in which activists spilled into Israeli territory.
Syrian television claimed 20 activists were killed, and 225 were wounded, in the clashes to commemorate the Palestinian “Naksa,” or “setback” in Six Day War, although the numbers could not be verified.
Sunday was the anniversary of the first day of the 1967 war, in which Israel expanded its territory to include east Jerusalem, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, the Gaza Strip and Sinai.
“The responsibility for the incidents and the casualties falls on those carrying out these provocations, and on all those who encouraged them to act in this way,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak said.
Israeli officials would not confirm the casualties numbers being reported from Syria. “Damascus has a track record of not being precise with its data,” one government official said.
The official added that it was clear the Syrian government gave the green light for the protesters to move toward the border, and contrasted this with the situation on Sunday in Lebanon, where the border was quiet.
“One can only suppose that there was a decision taken in Syria to exploit the situation to change the subject from what is going on inside Syria,” the official said. The official also asked whether the Palestinians feel comfortable “being used as a propaganda tool by an authoritative government butchering its own people.”
They hate Israel more.
As night fell, an unknown number of rioters encamped near Kuneitra, raising the possibility of a drawn-out confrontation that could last days.
Early on Sunday morning, Palestinians from the suburbs of Damascus had been bused to area across from Majdal Shams, and to the abandoned Syrian-border town of Kuneitra.
They massed at the border without interference from Syrian troops, in what the IDF described as a provocation by President Basher Assad that was designed to distract world attention away from the ongoing slaughter of protesters in Syria by Assad’s troops.
Soon after arriving in the Majdal Shams area, some 150 activists broke away from their fellows and descended a steep hill on the Syrian side, advancing toward the Israeli border. […]
Meanwhile, at Kuneitra to the south, a second infiltration attempt was under way.
Between 200 and 300 demonstrators gathered in Kuneitra, and climbed on the roof of an abandoned cinema, from where they began throwing rocks at Israeli security personnel.
Four land mines exploded on the Syrian side of the border, after the rioters threw gasoline bombs, which exploded in a field, starting a fire that then set off the mines.
They really didn’t think that one through.
The IDF did not know how many infiltrators were hurt by the explosions.
Throughout the pitched battles, paramedics on the Syrian side of the border asked that the IDF grant them cease-fires to clear the wounded. The army agreed to the request, but then saw activists exploiting the quiet to try and cut the border fence, bringing the truce to an end.….