Russia says deeply concerned by Golan clashes

Russian foreign ministry says death and injury of peaceful protesters is "worrying"; Israel contests Syrian account of the confrontation.

June 6, 2011 19:17
1 minute read.
Palestinians protest on the Syrian-Israeli border.

Naksa day at Syrian border FOR GALLERY 465 11. (photo credit: Reuters )

MOSCOW - Russia said on Monday it was "deeply concerned" by an upsurge in confrontation between Israelis and Palestinians on Sunday that Syria said killed 23 demonstrators and injured 350 in the Golan Heights.

"We express deep concern in relation to the new surge of Israeli-Palestinian confrontations. The death and injury of many peaceful demonstrators in the course of these protests is of particular concern," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

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Israel accused Syria on Monday of orchestrating the lethal confrontations in which Israeli troops fired on Palestinian protesters who surged against the fortified boundary fence on Syria's Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon said live Israeli fire had caused casualties and U.N. monitors were "seeking to confirm facts".

Israel contested the Syrian account and said President Bashar Assad was trying to shift world attention from the security forces' killing of at least 1,100 Syrians while suppressing anti-government revolts.

Sunday's protest was held to mark the 44th anniversary of the 1967 Middle East war, when Israel captured the Golan Heights, as well as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip where Palestinians want to establish a state.

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