UN Says Syria Did Nothing to Stop Israeli Border Disputes

Posted June 16th, 2011 at 12:40 am (UTC-5)
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U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says Syria did nothing to block Palestinian protesters from entering the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights during two recent demonstrations in which at least 27 people were killed.

Mr. Ban stopped short of accusing the Syrians of sanctioning the Palestinian protests — the May 15 demonstration marking the 1948 creation of Israel and the June 5 rally calling attention to the Arab defeat in the 1967 Middle East war. But he said Syria made no attempt to stop the protesters from crossing the cease-fire line into Israel.

He called on the Syrians and Israelis to “show restraint and refrain from provocations.” He said the two incidents “are of grave concern.”

The border area had been quiet for nearly 40 years. But Israel has accused the Syrian government of fomenting the two protests to draw attention away from the three-month uprising in Syria against the authoritarian rule of President Bashar al-Assad and his crackdown against anti-government protesters.

In both incidents, Israeli security forces fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse the protesters. But as the demonstrators crossed the cease-fire line, the Israelis opened fire.