UN concerned over violence on Lebanon, Syria borders


UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams issued a statement Sunday voicing his concern over the violent incidents along Lebanon’s borders with Syria and Israel.

“I deplore and deeply regret the loss of life today. Events in South Lebanon have developed into one of the most serious incidents on the Blue Line since 2006. I urge all parties to exercise the utmost restraint and to fully respect [UN] Security Council Resolution 1701,” the statement quoted him as saying.

Williams called for continued coordination between relevant parties to prevent further escalation of the situation in the South.

At least 10 pro Palestinian protestors were reportedly killed amid rallies taking place in Maroun al-Ras village to commemorate the Palestinian nakba day.

May 15 marks the “Nakba Day.” Nakba, meaning catastrophe in Arabic, and marks the period when more than 700,000 Arabs were displaced from their homes during the fighting following the creation of Israel in 1948.

Also on Sunday, Syrian security forces opened fire on civilians fleeing the border into northern Lebanon, wounding five people and killing one woman.

Israeli troops also opened fire Sunday on more than 1,000 Palestinians marching on the northern Erez Gaza crossing with Israel, wounding at least 52 people, according to medics and an Agence-France Presse correspondent.

Meanwhile, Israeli troops on the Golan wounded at least 10 people as they fired live rounds and tear gas Sunday at protesters who broke though from the Syrian-held side of the plateau, medics and defense sources said.

Israeli media reported at least one dead and several wounded but there was no immediate confirmation of the toll, in one of the worst incidents for decades along a ceasefire line that has been quiet since a 1974 truce accord.

Several million Palestinians who are living in refugee camps in various countries have urged the United Nations for the right to return, a demand Israel refuses to accept.