More video footage has emerged showing scenes of Israeli violence against Palestinian refugees crossing from Syria into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Sunday, 15 May. On Nakba day, Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and live ammunition at a mass march of Palestinian refugees who managed to walk across the militarized area. Ali Abunimah recently posted a video showing Israeli forces approaching and firing on the group as approximately a thousand Palestinian refugees crossed into the Golan — a dramatic assertion of their legitimate right to return to the land from which they were purged beginning in 1947-48.
One man, Hassan Hijazi, born in Syria but whose family is originally from Jaffa (south of Tel Aviv), was able to travel all the way to his town of origin to visit his grandfather and father’s house. He was arrested by Israeli police and held in detention — but not before making his nonviolent right of return action public. The Israeli press and mainstream US media has absurdly labeled Hijazi an “infiltrator,” as well as the other Palestinians who managed to cross into their homeland.
Today, two new videos were posted to YouTube by Baladee.net that show up-close footage of the marchers amassing in Majdal Shams and making their way to the fence, encountering throngs of armed Israeli soldiers, and the attacks that the soldiers launched against the unarmed demonstrators.
In the first video, Palestinian refugees prepare for the march. One man says that he is carrying a flower and a Palestinian flag, and states that Palestinians are coming to reclaim their land on the other side. The 4-minute video ends with the thousands of people standing at the fence, with dozens of Israeli troops stationed behind the fence.
The second video shows scenes of Israeli soldiers firing tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets indiscriminately into the crowd of marchers, as people fight back by throwing stones.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army released a statement today saying that the “events” that occurred on Nakba day are leading the military to “acquire more [weapons for] riot dispersal” in the near future.