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Monday, June 6, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Israeli live fire kills 20 Syrians who crashed border along Golan Heights

TEL AVIV — The Israel Army has become better prepared to quickly disperse Palestinian and other demonstrators who seek to infiltrate Israel, officials said.


On June 5, the Army repelled hundreds of Palestinians and supporters who sought to storm Israeli border facilities along the frontier with Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank. Officials said the Army units were trained to respond rapidly with both non-lethal equipment and live fire, Middle East Newsline reported. They said the Army also dug trenches along the border with Syria to hamper infiltration attempts.

Along the Golan Heights, about 100 people from Syria tried to break the Israeli security fence, the Army said. After warnings in Arabic, Israeli soldiers opened fire, and reports said up to 20 people were killed. Syrian authorities did not intervene.

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"The response of the Israel Defense Forces is very focused," military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said.

"On the Syrian border in the Golan Heights, I regret to say we're seeing that the Syrian government and army are not in control of the situation," Mordechai said. "In fact, in the Majdal Shams area [of the northern Golan Heights] hundreds of protestors arrived at the fence in front of the security fence, rebuilt by the IDF this week. The situation is under control and the IDF is acting with determination to thwart any attempt to breach the border, while keeping lessons from recent events in mind."

Officials said the Israel Army was ordered to remain on high alert. They said senior commanders, in coordination with Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, were monitoring the border on a daily basis to determine troop levels.

On May 28, about 1,000 Palestinians broke through Israeli border defenses along the Golan Heights. About a dozen people were killed by Israeli live fire.

Along the Lebanese border, the Israel Army reported no clashes with Palestinian demonstrators or their supporters. Officials said the Lebanese Army and police blocked the arrival of hundreds of demonstrators.

"I'm happy that the Lebanese Army prevented demonstrators from approaching the border fence," Mordechai said. "We're seeing that despite everything there is a body in control of the situation."

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