Israel upgrades Golan security after protests

Israel captured the Golan Heights in 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it.

Last Updated: May 19, 2011, 18:37 PM IST

Majdal Shams: Israeli
troops on Thursday worked to upgrade security along the ceasefire
line with Syria in the Golan Heights, after dozens of
Palestinian protesters poured across it on Sunday.

Military sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity,
said old mines, some dating from the 1967 Six Day war, were
being removed and measures were being taken to reinforce the
line.

A news agency photographer saw troops working with
mine-detection equipment and laying metres (yards) of new
barbed-wire fencing.

The sources said the military was considering the
possibility of laying new ordnance to replace the decades-old
mines strewn across the area, but that no decision had been
taken yet.

The measures were ordered after dozens of Palestinian
protesters from Syria breached Israel`s fence line and crossed
into the occupied Golan Heights on Sunday.

They were among thousands of Palestinians who gathered
in the West Bank, Gaza and on Israel`s borders with Lebanon
and Syria to protest on the anniversary of Israel`s creation
in 1948.

Palestinians refer to it as the "Nakba," or
"catastrophe," because it resulted in some 700,000 people
fleeing or being driven out of what is now the Jewish state.

Israeli troops opened fire on protesters trying to
breach the line from Syria, killing four. Another 10
protesters were killed along the border with Lebanon, and
hundreds were injured in the two incidents.

Israel captured the Golan Heights in the 1967 Six Day
War and later annexed it, and the area along the ceasefire
line remains dotted with both Israeli and Syrian mines.

Protesters who entered the Golan on Sunday crossed
through the mined area, but none of the day`s injuries or
fatalities appeared to have been caused by the ordnance.

PTI