IDF prevents breach of Syria border

Molotov cocktail thrown by demonstrators causes four mines to explode on Syrian side of border

Date: 05/06/2011, 3:22 PM     Author: IDF (Zahal) Website

UPDATED AT 19:05

A molotov cocktail thrown by Syrian demonstrators towards IDF (Zahal) forces on Sunday (June 5) caused a brushfire in Syrian territory, which led the explosion of four mines on the Syrian side of the Quneitra crossing in the Golan Heights.

IDF (Zahal) forces used riot dispersal means against demonstrators from Syria who tried undermine Israeli sovereignty and breach the international border in the Golan Heights region. After demonstrators ignored warnings not to approach the border, IDF (Zahal) soldiers were forced to open fire towards the legs of a number of demonstrators.

Watch video of IDF (Zahal) forces warning Syrian rioters near Quneitra

Demonstrators attempted to breach the border fence that had been strengthened in recently following the events of “Nakba Day”.

The IDF (Zahal) will remain on high alert and respond with crowd dispersal means to prevent breaches of Israel’s borders.

In the afternoon, the IDF (Zahal) allowed Red Cross personnel to enter the demilitarized zone on the Israel-Syria border to evacuate a number of wounded Syrians. A ceasefire was declared, but it was then violated by a number of demonstrators who continued to attempt to breach the border fence.

Also, dozens of Palestinians clashed with IDF (Zahal) forces near the Kalandia crossing north of Jerusalem. Palestinians attempted to cross the checkpoint while throwing rocks at security forces.

IDF (Zahal) Spokesman, Brig. Gen. Yoav (Poly) Mordechai, said on Sunday: “The IDF (Zahal)’s response is very focused. I’m happy that Lebanese army prevented demonstrators from approaching the border fence. We’re seeing that despite everything there is a body in control of the situation. On the Syrian border in the Golan Heights, I regret to say we’re seeing that the Syrian government and army are not in control of the situation. In fact, in the Majdal Shams area hundreds of protestors arrived at the fence in front of the security fence, rebuilt by the IDF (Zahal) this week. The situation is under control and the IDF (Zahal) is acting with determination to thwart any attempt to breach the border, while keeping lessons from recent events in mind.”

Brig. Gen. Mordechai added that IDF (Zahal) forces called toward the demonstrators in Arabic telling them not to break through the border. “After that warning, the IDF (Zahal) responded to those who didn’t heed the warning calls by opening fire into the air and later carried out precise fire directed by commanders in the front, in accordance with instructions given by the Chief of Staff. The first step is to fire towards the lower half of the body. Senior commanders of the Northern Command, including the division commander and battalion commanders, have the event under control.”