That’s the word from the leaders of the Syrian anti-regime movement, who say that the government paid Syrian farmers $1,000 each to rush the Israeli border on Sunday morning:

Information received cite the regime has paid hundreds of these farmers $1,000 each to show-up and $10,000 to their families should any of them succumb to Israeli fire. In Syria, an average salary is about $200 a month and to these impoverished farmers, such a one-time sum can keep them economically afloat for six months.

Note the heftier compensation for “martyrdom,” another acknowledgment that the regime thinks its citizens are worth more dead than alive. According to the JTA, 18 rioters attempting to cross the border were killed by the IDF, which should please the Syrian government.

The border clashes were clearly designed to distract the world from the Syrian regime’s increasing brutality. But they may also have been an attempt to frighten Israelis and Americans about the prospects of democratic reforms in Syria. Arab autocrats often fan the flames of Israel-hatred in their countries, and then claim that oppressive laws are necessary to keep their fanatical citizens in check.