Netanyahu: Palestinians Not Interested in Solution Based on 1967 Borders

Prime minister says the events of Sunday, when Syrian protesters attempted to break through the border with Israel, prove that Palestinians are instead interested in a return to 1948 borders.

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The violent clashes on the border with Syria prove that the Palestinians are not interested in a solution based on 1967 borders, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday.

Rather, they are interested in a solution based on 1948 borders, Netanyahu said during a special closed meeting held with the Defense Minister and Israel Defense Forces chief in order to discuss the situation on the border with Syria.

A reported 20 Syrian protesters were killed during demonstrations held on the border to mark Naksa Day, the anniversary of Israel's victory in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The United States State Department responded to the violence by saying that Israel "like any other sovereign nation, has the right to defend itself.

Residents of Majdal Shams hold Syrian and Palestinian flags as they look at protesters on the Syrian side of the border between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights June 5, 2011.Credit: Reuters

We are deeply troubled by the event that took place today at the Golan Heights that resulted in injury and loss of life," the statement said. "We call for all sides to exercise restraint. Provocative actions like this should be avoided."

Netanyahu said that Palestinians are trying to "flood Israel with refugees."

"At the same time, the small Israel absorbed hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees in 1948. Arab countries have not done a thing in order to absorb and help Palestinians."

Senior officials in Jerusalem placed the responsibility for Sunday's violence on the Syrian police.

"Syria is trying to divert attention from the massacre that [Syria] is carrying out against its citizens with the provocation on the border," a senior official said. "We sent messages in recent days to both Syria and Lebanon. Lebanon prevented the protests, but Syria decided to carry out a provocation."

Hundreds of protesters in Syria attempted to break through the border with Israel near the Druze town of Majdal Shams. Syrian TV reported that up to 20 protesters had been killed by IDF fire and more than 300 wounded in the violent clashes.

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