Nice reporting from The Telegraph's Michael Weiss:
I have just been forward what appear to be Syrian state documents leaked by the governor of al-Qunaitera, in south-west Syria, which suggest that the regime fully orchestrated the "Nakba Day" raids of Palestinian refugees into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on May 15.
The document (below) which bears the Syrian Republic emblem, is dated May 14, 2011 and describes an "urgent meeting" of Major General Asef Shawkat, the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Armed Forces, and the chiefs of security and military intelligence branches in the province in Al-Qunaitera, which is located at the Syrian-Israeli border. The memorandum outlines how the regime ordered the dispatching of 20 buses, each one with a passenger capacity of 47, to cross the border into Majdal-Shamms in the Golan Heights in order to precipitate a confrontation between Palestinian refugees and Israeli soldiers and UN peacekeeping forces, thereby distracting international attention from the Syrian revolution.
I quote the entire document, attributed to the "Office of the Mayor" in Al-Qunaitera province:
After an urgent meeting convened by the security committee on Saturday in the presence of the Mayor of al-Qunaitera, Major General Asef Shawkat -Deputy Chief of Staff for the Armed Forces-, and chiefs of security and military (intelligence) branches in the province, the following was decided:
All security, military, and contingent units in the province, Ain-el-Tina and the old al-Qunaitera are hereby ordered to grant permission of passage to all twenty vehicles (47 passenger capacity) with the attached plate numbers that are scheduled to arrive at ten in the morning on Sunday May 15, 2011 without being questioned or stopped until it reaches or frontier defense locations.
Permission is hereby granted allowing approaching crowds to cross the cease fire line (with Israel) towards the occupied Majdal-Shamms, and to further allow them to engage physically with each other in front of United Nations agents and offices. Furthermore, there is no objection if a few shots are fired in the air.
Captain Samer Shahin from the military intelligence division is hereby appointed to the leadership of the group assigned to break-in and infiltrate deep into the occupied Syrian Golan Heights with a specified pathway to avoid land mines.
It is essential to ensure that no one carries military identification or a weapon as they enter with a strict emphasis on the peaceful and spontaneous nature of the protest.
The provincial security committee meeting is considered in constant deliberation in coordination with the Center.
May you be the source of prosperity for the nation and the party
Dr. Khalil Mash-hadiya
Mayor of Al-Qunaitera
...This document which I have good reason to believe is absolutely genuine appears to represent the first piece of regime-created evidence that Assad has cynically tried to manipulate Western and Arabic media during three-month Syrian uprising.
Yet how many Western media outlets uncritically referred to all the rioters as "Palestinian refugees"?