Jerusalem: At least 20 people were killed and 325 others wounded, as Israeli forces opened fire at hundreds of demonstrating Palestinians who had gathered at the Israel-Syria frontier in the occupied Golan Heights on Monday marking the 44th anniversary of the occupation of the territory.

Reports says that 20 people were killed and 325 wounded as Israel Defense Forces fired along the border in the Golan Heights in an attempt to prevent border infiltration and break up Naksa Day rallies commemorating 44 years since the Six-Day War.

Israel captured Syria's Golan Heights in that conflict, as well as the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Medical officials told Damascus TV that Israeli soldiers "are shooting live rounds and aiming for the abdomen, chest and head". The Red Cross Ambulances evacuated the injured, they said.

IDF Spokesman, Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai wondered if this was an attempt by the Syrian government to divert attention from the crisis at home.

"The Syrian government and military are helpless to stop what is going on.I hope this is not an attempt by the Syrian regime to divert international attention from what in is going on in the country," he said.

IDF sources did not confirm the casualties but said that forces first called on demonstrators to cease their progress before firing warning shots in mid-air. They also fired tear gas and used other demonstration dispersal weaponry.

Once those were ignored, troops fired at the lower extremities of dissidents inflaming the crowds, they said.

(Agencies)