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.
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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.”

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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.

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