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Monday, May 16, 2011     FOR YOUR EYES ONLY

Israel: Border rampage an Arab Spring diversion by 'radical axis' of Iran, Hizbullah

TEL AVIV — Israel has determined that Iran was seeking to divert the Arab revolt in Syria toward the Jewish state.


Officials said Iran and its proxies organized large groups of Sunnis and Shi'ites to rush the Israeli border from Lebanon, Syria and the Gaza Strip on the anniversary of the establishment of Israel, called Nakba by the Arabs. They said many of the demonstrators were believed to have been members of the Iranian-supported Hamas, Hizbullah and Islamic Jihad.

"We are seeing here an Iranian provocation, on both the Syrian and the Lebanese frontiers, to try to exploit the Nakba Day commemorations," Israeli military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said.

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Officials said Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Hizbullah helped organize thousands of people to rush the borders of Lebanon and Syria into Israel, Middle East Newsline reported. They said Lebanese and Syrian authorities, under Iranian influence, did little to stop the rampage on May 15.

"The radical axis of Iran, Hizbullah, Hamas is very clear," Mordechai said. "This [infiltration] bore the fingerprints of Iran."

Israeli soldiers opened fire on an estimated 1,000 Syrians, many of whom hurled rocks and tore down border fences. The number of dead and injured was said to have ranged from 15 to 60, with at least four Syrians killed along the Golan frontier.

"The Israel Defense Forces has now stopped the advance of protesters at Syrian border and are dealing with those who infiltrated," Mordechai said.

In the Gaza Strip, thousands of Palestinians sought to rush the eastern border with Israel. The Israel Army fired main battle tank shells and automatic weapons and at least 15 people were injured.

For their part, Egypt and Jordan succeeded in stopping Islamists from crossing the border into Israel. No casualties were reported.

Israeli officials said IRGC has been working with the besieged regime of President Bashar Assad to quell the revolt in Syria and divert the violence to Israel. They said Iran has been alarmed by the increasingly bloody unrest in Syria, Teheran's leading ally.

"We are just at the start of this matter, and it could be that we'll face far more complex challenges," Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said.

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