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Updated: May 15, 2011 23:36 IST

8 killed, scores injured in Israeli firing

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A Palestinian holds a key, symbolising the key of his home snatched from his family during the creation of the state of Israel near Ramallah on Sunday.
A Palestinian holds a key, symbolising the key of his home snatched from his family during the creation of the state of Israel near Ramallah on Sunday.

Eight people were killed and more than 200 injured on Sunday as Palestinians marched on Israel's borders with Lebanon, Syria and Gaza in a mass show of mourning over the 1948 creation of the Jewish state.

Tensions along the Israeli-Syrian frontier spiralled as thousands of protesters who massed on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights plateau tried to break through to the Israeli side, prompting the army to open fire.

Syria lashed out at Israel for opening fire on the protesters, warning that the Jewish state would bear full responsibility for its “criminal” actions.

A Druze doctor from Majdal Shams who rushed to the scene told AFP he saw at least two bodies, with local paramedics confirming the same toll, saying one had been shot in the head, and the second in the chest.

They also said had treated another 20 people for light to moderate injuries, with the Israeli army confirming that “dozens” had been injured.

Along the Lebanese border, Israeli gunfire killed six people and wounded another 71 as thousands of mainly Palestinian refugees demonstrated along the tense frontier, local medical sources said.

Minors injured

And along Gaza's northern border with Israel, 90 people were injured, five of them seriously, when troops opened fired as more than a thousand Palestinians marched on the Erez crossing.

At least half of the wounded were minors, medics said.

The Israeli army issued a statement saying “hundreds of Syrian rioters” had crossed onto the Israeli side, and in response troops had “fired selectively” towards them, injuring an unspecified number. Protesters in southern Lebanon had tried to cross the border into Israel, the statement added, saying troops had fired warning shots towards them.

During the two incidents, three Army officers and 10 soldiers had been injured, it said, placing the blame for the violence squarely on the Damascus and Beirut.

Elsewhere, at least 29 others were injured as clashes broke out between stone-throwing Palestinian youths and Israeli security forces across annexed east Jerusalem and in the West Bank.Within the Palestinian territories, the vast majority of injuries occurred in northern Gaza, where troops opened fire as more than 1,000 people marched on the towering concrete border fence, chanting: “No to the occupation!” and “Revolution, revolution to liberate Palestine!” Syria angrily denounced the Israeli actions.

"We firmly denounce the criminal Israeli actions against our people in the Golan Heights, Palestine and southern Lebanon that left several people dead and wounded," the Syrian foreign ministry said.

“Israel will have to bear full responsibility for its actions.”

A Palestinian man was killed when troops opened fired on an area east of Gaza City but medics said the incident was not related to the "nakba" protests.

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