News / Middle East

Israel to Build Syrian Border Fence

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, heads the weekly Cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office, January 6, 2013.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, heads the weekly Cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office, January 6, 2013.
Robert Berger
Israel intends to reinforce its frontier with neighboring Syria amid growing concerns about the fallout from the Syrian civil war. 

Israel plans to erect a new five-meter-high fence on the Golan Heights, captured from Syria in 1967, and fortify it with trenches, barbed wire and a road for army patrols.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet Sunday that the Syrian army has moved away from the frontier and that what he called "Global Jihad" has moved in.  That is a reference to militant Islamists from around the Middle East, including al-Qaida.

Netanyahu said Israel would "defend its border against infiltrations and terrorism."

Israel has stayed out of the Syrian conflict, but recently a number of stray mortar rounds have landed inside Israeli-controlled territory on the Golan, prompting the army to fire back.  The incidents raised concerns that the Syrian civil war could spill toward Israel.

But Israel’s biggest concern is that Syria’s chemical weapons could fall into the hands of groups like al-Qaida or Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Netanyahu said “the Syrian regime is very unstable” and the issue of its chemical weapons is a cause for concern. He said Israel is coordinating intelligence with the United States and other allies and is prepared for any scenario.

He did not elaborate, but two months ago, the prime minister told European ambassadors that Israel will do everything to ensure Syria’s chemical weapons do not fall into the hands of terrorists - and that includes “a military option.”

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Steve Grumman from: Philippines
January 06, 2013 6:06 PM
It's interesting that Israel will build a fence in Golan ostensibly to keep Syrian rebels out of Israel.
Hopefully, Israel will build the fence on its territory and not on the territory of Syria that it occupies in the Golan heights. That is, after all, Syrian territory that will need to be returned to its rightful owners.

In Response

by: gregor from: hesperia,ca
January 07, 2013 10:51 AM
so you say that Israel is occupying the Golan heights ad it belongs to Syria and has to give it back. Land that was acquired in the 6 day war. if thats the case then the United States and many other countries have to give back land they occupied during their wars. Most of the central U.S. was conquered and taken from the native Americian Indian tribes so in your senario it must be returned. Now that is obsurd its never going to happen. Land occupied and conquered during war time belongs to the party that won its always been the case and Israel is no different.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid