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

Disappointing Report on China's Economy Shakes Markets

In London and New York shares lost 3 percent, while Paris and Germany dropped around 2.4 percent More

DRC Tries Mega-Farms to Feed Population

Park at Boukanga Lonzo currently has 5,000 hectares under cultivation, crops stretching as far as eye can see, and is start of ambitious large-scale agriculture plan More

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Areas are spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, source of livelihood for fishermen and herders who have called the marshes home for generations 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.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs