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U.S. Tells Golan Protesters to Show Restraint After 23 Killed
June 6, 2011
Clinton’s State Department has called for protesters on the border of Israel’s occupied Golan Heights in Syria to “exercise restraint” in their demonstrations. “Provocative actions like this should be avoided,” it said after IDF soldiers killed 23 on Sunday.
Double standards: Clinton condemns Syrian violence but says nothing about Israeli violence against unarmed protesters.
The US statement emphasized that “Israel, like any sovereign nation, has a right to defend itself,” apparently including shooting unarmed protesters.
“Despite numerous warnings, both verbal and later warning shots in the air, dozens of Syrians continue to approach the border and IDF (Israel Defense Forces) forces were left with no choice but to open fire towards the feet of protesters in efforts to deter further actions,” an Israeli army spokesman told AFP.
Syria’s government news agency SANA quoted Health Minister Wael al-Halki as saying the death toll included a woman and a child, adding that another 350 people suffered gunshot wounds.
On Sunday night, protesters said they were planning to stage a sit-down opposite the border.
Three weeks ago Israeli soldiers killed 13 Palestinian protesters who tried to enter Israel’s declared frontier with Lebanon and Syria during protests.
Sunday’s protest was held to mark the 44th anniversary of the Arab defeat in the 1967 Middle East war. Israel occupied Syria’s Golan Heights, the West Bank and the GazaStrip after the war.
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