9 Killed as Israel Clashes With Palestinians on Four Borders - NYTimes.com Every year in mid-May many Palestinians mark what they call Nakba, or the catastrophe, the anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948 and the start of a war in which thousands of Palestinians lost their homes through expulsion and flight.
But this is the first year that Palestinian refugees in Syria and Lebanon tried to breach the Israeli military border in marches inspired by recent popular protests around the Arab world. Here too, word about the rallies was spread on social media sites.
“The Palestinians are not less rebellious than other Arab peoples,” said Ali Baraka, a Hamas representative in Lebanon.
Officials and analysts have argued that with peace talks broken down and plans for a request of the United Nations to declare Palestinian statehood in September, violence could return to define this conflict, which has been relatively quiet for the past two years.
“This is war, we’re defending our country,” asserted Amjad Abu Taha, a 16-year-old from Bethlehem as he took part along with thousands in the West Bank city of Ramallah near the main military checkpoint to Israel. He held a cigarette in one hand and a rock in the other. Hundreds of Israeli troops using stun guns and tear gas roamed the area.
In Gaza, a march toward Israel also resulted in Israeli troops shooting into the crowd and wounding dozens. The Hamas police stopped buses carrying protesters near the main crossing into Israel