WASHINGTON- Two days after the "Naksa Day" events at the Israel-Syria border, during which Syrian reports claim 23 people were killed and 350 injured, Israel on Tuesday filed an official complaint against Syria to the United Nations secretary-general.
In the stern letter, handed to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the rotating president of the Security Council, Israel's Deputy Ambassador to the UN Haim Waxman wrote, "This incident — which could not have taken place without the knowledge of the Syrian authorities — reflects a blatant attempt by Syria to distract international attention from the violent repression of its own people.
"The responsibility for any harm caused to the individuals involved in these violent provocations lies clearly with the Government of Syria, which is responsible for preventing the breach of the agreed disengagement line in accordance with its international obligations and Security Council resolutions," the letter read.
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"Israel calls on the international community to convey a clear message to Syria that such provocations carry serious potential for escalation and must cease completely. We expect the Government of Syria to take all measures to prevent such dangerous incidents from reoccurring in the future," it said.
Earlier on Tuesday, UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said she was "deeply troubled" by clashes between IDF forces and Syrian protesters in the Golan Heights, where she said up to 40 people have reportedly been killed over three weeks.
"The government of Israel has a duty to ensure that its security personnel avoid the use of excessive force," said the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
"However difficult the circumstances, the use of live ammunition against allegedly unarmed protesters, resulting in large numbers of deaths and injuries, inevitably raises the question of unnecessary and excessive use of force," she added.
AFP contributed to this report
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