Studies show that US coverage is Israeli-centric. The main bureaus for CNN, Associated Press, Time, etc. are located in Israel and often staffed by Israelis. The son of the NY Times bureau chief is in the Israeli army;"pundit" Jeffrey Goldberg served in the IDF; Wolf Blitzer worked for AIPAC. Because the U.S. gives Israel over $8 million/day - more than to any other nation - we feel it is essential that we be fully informed on this region. Below are news reports to augment mainstream coverage.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Israeli forces kill 6 Syrians trying to enter Israeli occupied Golan, reports that 100 wounded

Ma'an, AFP – Israeli troops opened fire on Sunday as protesters from Syria stormed a ceasefire line in the occupied Golan Heights, killing six demonstrators, according to Syrian television.

Hundreds of protesters rushed toward the ceasefire line, attempting to cut through a cluster of barbed wire and head into the Golan Heights in a repeat of demonstrations last month, which saw thousands mass along Israel's north.

Similar protests were held in the West Bank, where hundreds demonstrated at the Qalandiya checkpoint near Ramallah, and in Gaza, where several hundred gathered in the north of the coastal enclave, and tens of demonstrators who tried to break away and march north clashed with Hamas police, who detained at least a dozen.

"Despite numerous warnings, both verbal and later warning shots in the air, dozens of Syrians continue to approach the border and IDF forces were left with no choice but to open fire towards the feet of protesters in efforts to deter further actions," an army spokesman told AFP.

Updating an earlier toll, Syrian state television reported that six people were killed and more than 100 wounded.

An AFP photographer saw at least 20 people with injuries, some soaked in blood as they were evacuated from the scene, while the Israeli military said it was aware of 12 casualties.

Syrian television showed footage of protesters trying to scale the barbed wire as Israeli soldiers atop a tank opened fire. "Four martyrs have fallen, including a child, and 13 others have been wounded," it said.

"Our aim is to plant the Syrian flag on the occupied land," one of the protesters, Mohammed Shaiber, said in the television report.

On the Israeli side, Majdal Shams locals pleaded with soldiers to stop firing as troops used loudspeakers to warn demonstrators in Arabic that "anyone who comes close to the fence will be responsible for their own blood."

Israel forces were placed on high alert after activists in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and bordering countries called for protesters to march on Israeli checkpoints and border areas.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, around 100 people demonstrated in central Hebron, while dozens of protesters tried to march from the northern West Bank village of Deir Al-Hatab to the Elon Moreh settlement nearby.

Sunday's protests, timed to coincide with the 44th anniversary of the Six-Day War when Israel seized the Golan from Syria and occupied the West Bank and Gaza Strip, were intended to be a repeat of massive demonstrations last month.

On May 15, thousands of protesters massed on Israel's borders with Syria, Lebanon and Gaza, trying to force their way across on the anniversary of Palestinians' mass dispossession as the state of Israel was created.

Israeli troops opened fire on demonstrators as they stormed the borders from Syria and Lebanon, leaving six dead on the Lebanese side of the border and four dead on Syria's side.

In Lebanon, Palestinian refugees on Sunday staged a day of mourning but the Lebanese army banned any gatherings at the border with Israel to avoid a repeat of the violence.