The Israel Defense Forces on Sunday accused Iran of orchestrating two waves of fighting along its northern borders, as Palestinian protesters tried to infiltrate from Syria and Lebanon during demonstrations to mark Nakba Day, which commemorates the "catastrophe" of the creation of the State of Israel.
At least eight people were reportedly killed on the two frontiers, when IDF troops opened fire on masses of protesters attempting to infiltrate into Israel. The protests, IDF spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said, bore Iran's "fingerprints."
"We are seeing here an Iranian provocation, on both the Syrian and the Lebanese frontiers, to try to exploit the Nakba day commemorations," he said.
The IDF confirmed opening fire as scores of Palestinian refugees spilled into the town of Majdal Shams, which runs along Israel's border with Syria. At least four people, apparently Palestinian refugees, were killedt.
Mordechai also confirmed that the IDF fired at a crowd of Lebanese protesters who approached the border with Israel and began vandalizing the fence. The spokesman had no details on the number of casualties, but Lebanese sources said there had been four fatalities.
Syria is home to 470,000 Palestinian refugees and its leadership, now facing fierce internal unrest, had in previous years prevented protesters from reaching the frontier fence.
"This appears to be a cynical and transparent act by the Syrian leadership to deliberately create a crisis on the border so as to distract attention from the very real problems that
regime is facing at home," said a senior Israeli government official who declined to be named.