By Alex Kane
Immediately after the Israeli military reportedly killed a number of unarmed demonstrators in the occupied-Golan Heights on June 5, Israel’s propaganda machine went into high gear. Newly-released details from a United Nations report authored by the Secretary General clearly show that the Israeli spin on the Naksa protests was just that: spin.
The principle claim was that the Israel Defense Forces only shot at the bottom half of protesters’ bodies, and therefore did not kill them. Instead, as a New York Times report put it, the Israeli military said that “10 protesters were killed after they threw makeshift firebombs and started a fire that set off land mines near the border town of Quneitra, on the Syrian side of the lines.”
It turns out that there was indeed a fire that killed demonstrators, according to the UN. But according to published accounts of Ban Ki-Moon’s report on the demonstrations, it was Israeli weaponry that caused the fire which ultimately killed protesters.
A UN report on the Naksa day events said the IDF used tear gas, smoke grenades and live fire to prevent the demonstrators from crossing the ceasefire line.
It stated: “Several anti-tank mines exploded due to a brush fire apparently started by tear gas or smoke grenade canisters near UNDOF facilities at Charlie Gate, resulting in casualties among protesters.”
The brush fire was put out by Syrian and Israeli fire squads, and UNDOF, the report read.
Meanwhile, the Zionist blogosphere is all over this story by Michael Weiss of the Telegraph (UK) that purports to show Syrian state documents proving that “Assad orchestrated [the] Nakba Day raids” on the Golan Heights. Weiss, who works for a pro-Israel advocacy group, claimed that the document was authentic and originated from the “‘Office of the Mayor’ in Al-Qunaitera province.” But blogger Richard Silverstein throws cold water on Weiss’ report, writing that it was Israeli intelligence–which has a history of pushing false stories in the media–who leaked the memo to him.