The Israeli Defense Forces have killed at least 10 people dead and wounded hundreds taking part in pro-Palestinian "Nakba Day" protests on its borders.
Israeli troops killed at least five people trying to cross into Israel from Lebanon as part of "Nakba" ("catastrophe") Day — a reference to the founding of the Israeli state in 1948 — media quoted witnesses and Lebanese as saying.
A Syrian official said Israeli troops killed four demonstrators in Syria who were trying to break through a border fence in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, while Palestinian medics and officials said clashes at protests along the border with the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip had killed at least one.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that he had instructed the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to act with restraint, but to stop all attempts at infiltration and challenges to Israel's sovereignty. "We are determined to defend our borders," he said, the Jerusalem Post reports.
The Israeli daily Haaretz cited IDF spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai as saying the protests bore Iran's "fingerprints."
"The IDF confirmed opening fire as scores of Palestinian refugees spilled into the town of Majdal Shams, which runs along Israel's border with Syria. At least four people, apparently Palestinian refugees, were killed," reports Haaretz. "[Mr. Mordechai] also confirmed that the IDF fired at a crowd of Lebanese protesters who approached the border with Israel and began vandalizing the fence. The spokesman had no details on the number of casualties, but Lebanese sources said there had been four fatalities."
At least 24 Palestinians were wounded in clashes with Israeli security forces using shot tear gas and rubber bullets in the West Bank, AFP reports.