Damascus issues statement saying 'Naksa Day' clashes exposed Israel's 'terrorist policy.'
U.S.: Syria clearly inciting Israel border protests-
U.S. State Department blames Syria for the deaths of reported 23 protesters. "This is clearly an attempt by Syria to incite these kinds of protests," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, saying Damascus hoped to divert attention from its own internal problems.
Prime Minister Netanyahu : Border clashes were not incidental. There is an attempt to inflame the border.
Hezbollah chief: Naksa Day protesters sent clear message to Israel - Hezbollah chief: Naksa Day protesters sent clear message to Israel
Latest Update: 06.06.11
The Syrian foreign ministry on Monday issued a statement condemning the killing of protestors on the Israeli border on Sunday in what it described as "flagrant Israeli aggression" against unarmed civilians.
The attack exposed Israel's terrorist policy, the Syrian statement read.
Meanwhile, the United States said Monday that Syria was "clearly" behind the lethal confrontations and that Israel has a right to defend itself.
"This is clearly an attempt by Syria to incite these kinds of protests," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said, saying Damascus hoped to divert attention from its own internal problems. "Israel, like any sovereign nation, has a right to defend itself."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also addressed the border clashes in a Likud faction meeting on Monday. "They were not incidental," he said. "There is an attempt to inflame the border."
The prime minister stressed that soldiers fired at the protestors as a last resort. "We must defend our borders, as any country is obligated to do. The IDF followed international law codes, we warned we would defend our borders. We issued warnings to neighboring states as well as repeated alerts on the field."
Netanyahu also accused the Syrian regime of failing to prevent the clashes. "Sadly, I cannot say that the Syrian government pulled all its weight to prevent the provocations. It allowed these people to cause provocations that challenged Israel's sovereignty.
"There is an attempt to divert international attention away from events inside Syria."
Netanyahu also declared "we maintain our right to defend our borders, communities and citizens. We shall do so with the utmost restraint and responsibility."
Earlier on Monday, dozens arrived at the Shouting Hill near the Syrian border but did not approach the fence. The IDF is prepared for any possible infiltration attempt.
Russia said on Monday it was "deeply concerned" by an upsurge in confrontation between Israelis and Palestinians.
"We express deep concern in relation to the new surge of Israeli-Palestinian confrontations. The death and injury of many peaceful demonstrators in the course of these protests is of particular concern," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Judeh said growing Arab protests against Israeli occupation of Arab lands "reflected pessimism and frustration on the part of Arab peoples over Israel's obstinacy and failure to respond to serious world efforts" aimed at ending the Arab-Israeli conflict.
He said that "maintaining stability and real security in the Middle East lay in Israel's evacuation of all Arab lands it occupied in the 1967 war and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital."
Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah on Monday praised the Syrian protesters who tried to breach Israel's borders as part of the Naksa Day rallies marking 44 years since the 1967 Six-Day War, adding that they sent a clear message to Israel with their actions.
"The stubbornness of the youth in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights to cross the border is a clear message with regards to the inherent desire of this nation," Nasrallah said.
Syria said on Monday that 23 people were killed in Sunday's "Naksa Day" rally along the Syrian border with Israel.
The IDF said that since all the casualties were on the Syrian side of the border it was unable to provide an exact count, but it expressed great skepticism about the Syrian figures. Soldiers fired "with precision" at the bottom half of the bodies of the protesters, the army said.
Speaking via video at a rally held to mark the Iranian revolution, Nasrallah praised the protesters'' "tenacity", saying they succeeded in "doing away with the mask on the face of the American government."
"This proves again that Washington is fully committed to only the security of Israel," Nasrallah said.
The Hezbollah chief invoked a prediction that Iran's Ayatollah Khameni made, saying that Sunday's events proved that "there is no reason to trust the United States and no reason to reach a compromise with Israel."
Meanwhile, Israel said that it will complain to the United Nations over what it said was Syria's use of demonstrators to challenge Israel's sovereignty, following Sunday's violence. The complaint would focus on Syria's "manipulation of its own citizens to generate violent incidents at the border," Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said.
The IDF also accused the Syrian government of creating a deliberate provocation in an effort to divert world attention from its ongoing bloody repression of pro-democracy protests at home.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon said live Israeli fire had caused casualties and UN monitors were "seeking to confirm facts".
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