Israeli forces shot dead four Palestinian protesters and wounded 11 from Syria in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Sunday where Palestinians were demonstrating on Sunday during Nakba protests, security sources said.
President Bashar al-Assad, who is facing pro-democracy demonstrations against his autocratic rule, has been criticised by some protesters for using tanks against his own people rather sending forces to liberate the Golan Heights. Assad has said the liberation of the Heights is a national goal.
The Israeli military declined immediate comment.
Reuters cameraman Ezzat Baltaji said he filmed three dead bodies and two that were immobile.
The killings, in the village of Majdal Shams, occurred on the day Palestinians held demonstrations to mark the "Nakba" or catastrophe of Israel's founding in 1948.
The Palestinian refugees say that in the summer of 1948, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled their homes after armed Jewish guerrillas stormed their villages and forced them to leave after hundreds of other Palestinian fellows were slaughtered.
The refugees fled to neighboring countries like Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, but many of them went to the West Bank, which was under Jordan's rule and to the Gaza Strip which was under Egypt's rule. The United Nations helped the refugees by setting up refugee camps for them.
Dolan Abu Salah, the village's mayor, said between 40 and 50 Nakba demonstrators reached Majdal Shams, on the Israeli side of the frontier of the occupied Golan Heights.
"The way it was reported to me, they broke through the (frontier) fence," he told the radio.
Israeli television networks said four people were killed by Israeli gunfire, but gave no source for their information, which matched reports carried by Arab satellite television channels.
Israel Radio said one Syrian was killed and three Israelis were wounded in the shooting.
Israel occupied Golan Heights, a strategic northern plateau overlooking the Sea of Galilee, from Syria in a 1967 war.
There are 5 million Palestinian refugees living in the Palestinian territories, in Arab countries and all over the world, according to figures from UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA).
Palestinians demand the right for the 4.6 million descendants of those who fled in 1948 to return to their occupied lands that are now inside Israel.
AgenciesGüncelleme Tarihi: 15 Mayıs 2011, 16:42