'Letter supposedly shows Syrian role in Nakba clashes'

Apparently leaked to 'Telegraph' blogger by local Syrian official, letter gives orders allowing protesters to reach, cross Israeli border.

By
June 14, 2011 21:19
3 minute read.
Syrian protesters approach the Israeli border

Syrian protesters approach the Israeli border 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

 
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The Syrian government fully organized the Nakba Day raids by Palestinian refugees on the Golan Heights border with Syria in May, according to a document received by a Daily Telegraph blogger, which he says is in all likelihood an official Damascus communiqué.

The document, posted by blogger Michael Weiss on Tuesday, details a meeting held between the deputy chief of staff of the Syrian Armed Forces, Maj.-Gen. Asef Shawkat, and the heads of the security and military intelligence apparatus in the Kuneitra province near the Israeli border.

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According to the document, which bears an emblem of the Syrian Arab Republic, the Syrian government sent 20 buses to the border in order to launch clashes between IDF troops and Palestinian refugees in order to distract the world’s attention from the violent crackdown on the uprising taking place in Syria.

Quoting the document, Weiss said “after an urgent meeting convened by the security committee on Saturday in the presence of the mayor of Kuneitra, Major- General Asef Shawkat – deputy chief of staff for the armed forces – and chiefs of security and military [intelligence] branches in the province, the following was decided:

“All security, military, and contingent units in the province, Ain-el-Tina and the old Kuneitra are hereby ordered to grant permission of passage to all 20 vehicles (47- passenger capacity) with the attached plate numbers that are scheduled to arrive at 10 in the morning on Sunday May 15, 2011, without being questioned or stopped until it reaches or [sic] frontier defense locations.

“Permission is hereby granted allowing approaching crowds to cross the cease-fire line (with Israel) towards the occupied Majdal Shams, and to further allow them to engage physically with each other in front of United Nations agents and offices. Furthermore, there is no objection if a few shots are fired in the air.

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“Capt. Samer Shahin from the military intelligence division is hereby appointed to the leadership of the group assigned to break-in and infiltrate deep into the occupied Syrian Golan Heights with a specified pathway to avoid land mines.

“It is essential to ensure that no one carries military identification or a weapon as they enter with a strict emphasis on the peaceful and spontaneous nature of the protest.”

The document is signed “May you be the source of prosperity for the nation and the party – Dr. Khalil Mashhadiya, mayor of Kuneitra.”

Weiss, the communications director of the Henry Jackson Society and the spokesman for Just Journalism, a watchdog group that focuses on the coverage of Israel in the British media, said “this document – which I have good reason to believe is absolutely genuine – appears to represent the first piece of regime-created evidence that Assad has cynically tried to manipulate Western and Arabic media during the three-month Syrian uprising.”

During the border charge on May 15, two Syrian citizens were killed by IDF gunfire, and over a hundred managed to infiltrate the Druse village of Majdal Shams before they were arrested and deported by Israeli security forces.

One infiltrator managed to make his way to Tel Aviv before turning himself into police after reportedly spending the better part of a day looking for what he said was his ancestral home in Jaffa. Clashes on the Lebanese border on May 15 left at least 10 Lebanese dead.

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