Syrian media lashes out at Israel

AFP , Monday 16 May 2011

Syrian newspapers on Monday lashed out at Israel for deadly weekend border clashes on the anniversary of the Nakba, and accused the international community of failing to adopt a firm response

"The Golan, south Lebanon and Palestine: one blood, one front," declared a red-letter headline in Al-Baath newspaper, which represents the ruling party of the same name.

"The revolutionary Arab youths brought down Israel on the 63rd anniversary of the Nakba," the paper said in an editorial.

Israeli gunfire killed 12 people and wounded hundreds Sunday when thousands of protesters from Syria and Lebanon, mostly Palestinian refugees, stormed its borders marking Nakba, or the "catastrophe" of the Jewish state's 1948 creation.

The Israeli army accused the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of "organising" the violence as a means to divert international attention from pro-democracy protests sweeping his country.

Al-Baath newspaper said Sunday's events on the Golan Heights and southern Lebanon had dealt a blow to Israel's military might.

"The Syrian, Lebanese and Palestinian youths brought down this illusion (of military might) which they confronted with their bare chests and they baptised the occupied land with their pure blood," it said.

The government newspaper Al-Thawra for its part said Sunday's events had "unified Arab blood".

"The Israeli criminal action was not simply a confirmation of their crime-ridden history but new proof of their aggression which is mounting through the years," the paper said.

It added the deadly face-off had opened a new chapter in the Arab world.

Newspapers also criticised UN troops stationed along the border in Lebanon and Syria for failing to intervene to stop the bloodshed.

"Is the United Nations aware that the zone in the Golan that separates the occupied and liberated territories is demilitarised?" questioned the government-run newspaper Tishreen in an editorial.

"How can UN troops stationed on the ground... allow the Zionist enemy to fire at unarmed citizens?" it added.

"This terrorist Israeli action took place in front of the entire world and in front of UN forces and no one reacted because these citizens are not part of the UN human rights charter."

Al-Watan newspaper, close to the government, also criticised the international community. "What happened to the Palestinians yesterday was met with total silence by Europe's foreign ministers and of course Washington as well as human rights groups," the newspaper said.

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