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September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Golan Heights’

IDF Stands By as Al Qaeda Offensive Threatens Golan Farmers

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

The IDF warned Golan Heights farmers Sunday that they are liable to be victims of stray rocket and mortar shell fire as Al Qaeda-led rebels advance in their offensive against the army of Syrian President Bassar al-Assad.

At least one mortar shell exploded in the northern Golan Heights on Friday.

Israel has been careful to stay out of the civil war, now in its fourth year, but the IDF occasionally has responded to several firing incidents that appeared to be aimed at Israel.

So what do you do when your terrorist neighbors, whether Assad, ISIS or Al Qaeda, are killing and beheading each other, but an occasional rocket just happens to fall in your back yard?

You duck.

The IDF says, “Be careful,” and it is hard to criticize the walk-on-eggs policy.

If Israeli soldiers start showing their guns and attack rebel or loyalist positions, Israel, in a single step, or shot if you prefer, could instantly turn the ISIS, Assad and Al Qaeda into allies with the ultimate common enemy, those terrible Zionists.

You know, those are the ones who are occupying territory that was mostly uninhabited except for a Druze city and Syrian army positions used to pound Israeli farmers along the Kinneret until the Six-Day War in 1967.

Now, the shooting has shifted to the Golan Heights, where farmers have the option of being careful while they work or are being even more careful by not working.

But the IDF is not likely the bill for apples that are not picked and for cattle that are not grazing in the pasture.

The farmers are suffering, but at least they have the satisfaction of knowing that with every day, there are a few less terrorists on the other side of the border.

If the farmers can be agile enough to duck quickly, and the IDF can restrain from firing back, there might be peace on the day that the last terrorist blows himself up in frustration because there is no one else left to kill, except, of course, for Israelis.

 

Al Qaeda Controls Syrian Side of Golan Heights

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Al Qaeda forces have headed a rebel offensive and have taken control of most of the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

“The regime has now lost control of about 80 percent of towns and villages in Quneitra province,’ and the Al Qaeda-led forces have taken over the only crossing over the armistice line between Syria and Israel, the organization’s director Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.

The Islamist State ISIS terrorist organization has taken control of other areas to the east, but Syrian President Bassar al-Assad’s air force has bombed ISIS training bases Saturday and killed at least eight Islamic State fighters.

False Rocket Alarms Up North

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

8:56pm Residents in Israel’s north, near Metulla and Kiryat Shmoneh heard 2 sets of rocket sirens this evening, sending some residents scrambling to the bomb shelters.

TV Channel 2 did not show the alert, but Channel 10 did show it on the screen.

The IDF reports that the sirens were false alarms, and local residents do not report hearing any explosions.

IDF Soldier Lightly Injured from Syrian Fighting Spillover

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

An IDF soldier was lightly injured on the Golan Heights late Tuesday afternoon, after he was hit with a bullet from spillover fighting on the Syrian side of the border.

The soldier was hit in the leg, and transported by helicopter to a hospital for treatment.

Updated: IDF Fires Missile at Syrian Base after Stray Rocket Fire (15:05 pm)

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

15:05 pm: The IDF fired a missile at a Syrian army post in retaliation for stray rocket fire that exploded earlier in the day on the Golan Heights.

“The IDF sees the Syrian army as responsible for any rocket fire towards Israel,” the army said in a statement.

Fighting continues between Syrian forces and Al Nusra Front rebels on the Syrian side of the Kuneitra border crossing Thursday afternoon.

1:30pm A rocket landed in an open area on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights (Galei Tzahal). It is apparently spillover the Syrian fighting.

1:23om It appears the rocket may have landed on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

1:20pm Initial reports believe this may have been spillover from fighting between Assad’s troops and the Syrian rebels.

1:15pm If you thought the rockets attacks were over, you’d be wrong. Only the venue has changed.

The Red Alert siren went off on the Golan Heights at 1:15pm.

 

UN Commander Says ‘Raise the White Flag’ as Syrian Rebels Take UN Peacekeepers Hostage, Attack Others

Monday, September 1st, 2014

The chief of Philippine armed forces says it will ask for an investigation of the commander of United Nations peacekeeping troops in the Golan Heights who asked his troops to lay down their arms and ‘raise the white flag’ under fire. Two groups of United Nations peacekeepers — both of them Filipino — managed to elude capture by Syrian rebels in the Syrian side of the Golan Heights during the past 24 hours.

The head of the Philippine armed forces, General Gregorio Pio Catapang, told journalists in Manila that a group of 32 kidnapped Philippine peacekeepers trapped by the rebels in the Syrian side of the Golan Heights had been rescued.

“We may call it the greatest escape,” he said.

“Everyone is in a safe position,” UNDOF Philippine commander Lt. Col. Ramon Zagala, said, according to the BBC. “We left our [former] position but we brought all our arms.” In addition, a second group of 40 UNDOF peacekeepers – apparently also from Philippines – managed to escape a seven-hour siege by the rebels after returning fire in self-defense.

The Philippine government has announced it will recall its force of 331 troops in October due to the deterioration of security in the Golan Heights.

A third group of 44 Fijian UN peacekeepers was kidnapped last Wednesday near Quneitra by the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al Nusra terror group (Al Nusra Front). The terror organization said in a statement posted on the internet that the captives were “in a safe place, and they are in good health, and that we have given them what they need of food and treatment.”

Jabhat al Nusra seized control of the Quneitra crossing with Israel — the only border crossing with Syria — last week. The group claimed it had carried out the abductions because the UN ignored “the daily shedding of the Muslims’ blood in Syria.”

The Philippine military is planning to demand a probe of the commander of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) on allegations of endangering the safety of Filipino peacekeepers on active duty. (UNDOF was established May 31 1974, the day Syria and Israel signed a disengagement agreement to end the 1973 Yom Kippur War.)

Gen. Catapang told the BBC that Lt. Gen. Iqbal Singh Singha, of India, ordered Philippine UN peacekeepers to lay down their arms to ensure the safety of the Fijian peacekeepers abducted by the Syrian rebels. In addition to laying down their firearms, the general said the Filipino troops were also ordered by Singha to ‘raise the white flag,’ according to the BBC.

“He (Singha) said that if we were attacked we should raise the white flag. I said no way. That means our soldiers will also be held hostage,” said Catapang. The troops defied Singha and informed AFP Peacekeeping Operations Center chief Col. Roberto Ancan instead.

UNDOF is comprised of 1,223 peacekeeper troops from six nations — but it is not clear who will replace the Philippine troops in October.

Golan Residents Feeling Syrian Heat

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Residents of the Golan Heights awoke Sunday to the serenity of one of Israel’s most isolated regions, but also to the uncertainty of fighting that has inched closer to Jewish communities adjacent to the Syrian border.

For more than two years, residents of towns such as Alonei Habashan, Merom Golan and other Jewish towns on the Heights have become accustomed to the sounds of artillery and tank fire emanating from the eastern side of the border fence. The booms have been so common that even small children can readily identify the sounds made by a variety of heavy weaponry.

Until now, Golan residents have successfully detached from the sounds of Syria’s civil war, secure in the knowledge that with rebel groups trying to topple the dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad, and with Assad himself fighting for his life, the fighting was unlikely to spill over into Israel.

Today, however, amidst reports that radical Islamic groups have seized territory adjacent to the Syrian side of the border, including the Qunetra border crossing, residents of the area say they have suddenly woken up to a new reality. But with faith in the IDF and a deep connection to the Golan region, residents say they have no intention of leaving their homes. “We are ready, from the point of view of bomb shelters, security areas and a community security detail,” said Yaron Dekel, a resident of Moshav Alonei Habashan, located just 500 meters from the border fence. “We all served in the army, in combat units,and we all know how to defend ourselves if need be. There’s an IDF outpost on the hilltop right next door, and will ensure that the fighting in Syria does not spill over into Israel.”

Speaking to the Hebrew-language 0404 website, Dekel and his wife, Yiscah, admitted that the new reality has brought with it a significant dose of nerves.

“Our warning time (in the event of a missile attack) is zero,” Yiscah said Sunday. “As soon as we hear a Code Red siren, it means a missile has already landed on the moshav. There is no time for us to take cover.”

The Dekels added that several children in the community have been treated for shock – happily and sadly, they said their homes have not been battered with missiles the way residents of the south have, meaning children here are far more likely to react badly to army fire and to warning sirens.

Still, Yiscah Dekel said that with nearly all residents of the yishuv having served in the army, and with many of the community’s men having served in combat roles during Operation Protective Edge, residents here maintain a strong sense of faith in the IDF.

“Every Friday we go up to bring food to the soldiers at the outpost right next door,” she says. “At the end of the day, we know they will protect us.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/golan-residents-feeling-syrian-heat/2014/08/31/

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