SIDON: Palestinian refugees in south Lebanon protested Monday against Israel’s weekend shooting on the Golan Heights by blocking roads at the entrances to refugee camps with burning tires.
Israeli troops Sunday battled hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters who tried to cross Syria’s frontier with the Golan Heights, killing a reported 20 people and wounding scores more in the second outbreak of deadly violence in the border area in less than a month.
The clashes, marking the Naksa, or the anniversary of the Arab defeat in the 1967 war, drew Israeli accusations that Syria was orchestrating the violence to shift attention away from a bloody crackdown on opposition protests at home.
Schools and UNRWA-run institutions closed Monday across Ain el-Hilweh, Lebanon’s largest refugee camp, which lies on the outskirts of the southern port city of Sidon, and in the nearby Mieh Mieh shantytown.
Angry residents walked out of their homes in spontaneous protests before midday Monday in Ain el-Hilweh and Mieh Mieh, shouting anti-Israeli slogans.
The Naksa was marked peacefully in Lebanon Sunday, after original planned protests were called off.
Palestinian organizers had planned to march to Lebanon’s border with Israel, but last week the Lebanese Army declared the border area a “closed military zone” to prevent protesters from reaching the border. The closure was intended to avoid a repeat of the events of the march on the anniversary of Nakba on May 15, during which Israeli forces killed 11 protesters.