White House Spokesman Jay Carney on Monday defended Israel’s use of force against hundreds of Palestinians who tried to cross the borders from Lebanaon, Syria and Gaza, while calling on neighboring countries to prevent future incidents.
"We regret the loss of life and our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of those killed and wounded," said Carney. "Israel, like all countries, has the right to prevent unauthorized crossings at its borders, its neighbors have a responsibility to prevent such activity. We urge maximal restraint on all sides. We’re also strongly opposed to the Syrian government’s involvement in inciting yesterday’s protests in the Golan Heights, such behavior is unacceptable and does not serve as a distraction from the Syrian government’s ongoing repression of demonstrators in its own country."
More than a dozen people were hurt and hundreds wounded in a day of coordinated protests marking what Arabs call the Nakba, or catastrophe of Isael’s declaration of independence in 1948, which Israelis celebrated on May 10.
In Tel Aviv an Israeli Arab was charged with driving his truck into other vehicles and pedestrians, killing one man, and on Jeusalem’s Mount Scopus firebombs were thrown at the Hadassah Medical Center there.