Ramat Hagolan – A fire department crew reported that they were fired on Saturday night from Syria, as they were putting out a brush fire near Kibbutz Ein Zivan. No injuries were reported.
Posts Tagged ‘Golan Heights’
The United Nations Security Council has warned Syria to stop fighting its civil war in the Golan Heights.
The council adopted a resolution on Wednesday condemning all sides in the war and warning the fighting must stop – at least in the Golan Heights, where military action now threatens to raise tensions with Israel.
The resolution, adopted unanimously in the chamber, reiterated a finding by U.N. Secretary Ban Ki-moon that spillover from the Syrian conflict into the buffer zone had jeopardized the cease fire between Syria and Israel. Both civilians and U.N. personnel are increasingly endangered by the situation, he found. The resolution also included an extension of the U.N. mission that provides military personnel to monitor the cease fire between Syria and Israel, until December 31.
Earlier this week, Syrian National Reconciliation Affairs Minister Ali Haidar told the Israeli Arab As-Sonara newspaper, “Whatever cease fire agreements there were in the past are now null and void as a result of the Israeli aggression. We have returned to a state of war.”
The statement came in the wake of an Israeli air strike fired in response to a Syrian anti-tank missile fired at a civilian water truck on the Israeli side of the border in the Golan Heights. A 13 year old Israeli boy died and three men – including the boy’s father — were wounded in the attack, which was unprovoked. The men were contractors working for Israel’s defense ministry making repairs near Tel Hazeka, along the border area.
“It is absolutely clear that the Syrian military is responsible for firing the anti-tank missile. Any violation of our sovereignty in the Golan Heights will be met with a powerful response against [Syrian President Bashar] Assad’s forces,” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said.
Israel has decided to build a series of assault posts designed to return fire rapidly in the event of an attack from across the border.
The decision came in response to just such an incident that occurred earlier this week, and cost the life of a 13-year-old Israeli boy. His father, a defense ministry contractor on a job along the security fence, was seriously wounded along with two others. They were sitting in a water truck when a Kornet anti-tank missile scored a direct hit on their vehicle. Mohammed Karkara paid the price and died in his father’s arms.
According to the IDF, live personnel will staff the series of assault stations — the “Defensive Canopy” to be strung out along the 210th Territorial Division — as the situation warrants. The “210th” is the area that secures Israel’s border with Syria in the Golan Heights.
The IDF maintains a similar series of posts in the south, strung out along the Gaza border as well. Within the stations are various types of technologies that allow for quick coordination between the various military elements – air force, ground troops, artillery and so forth – needed to repel any enemy attack.
In response to Sunday morning’s attack from Syria, that left an Israeli boy dead, and two injured, the IDF launched nine strikes at Syrian Army positions. The IDF attacked with artillery and IAF missiles, and hit the Syrian Army 90th Division.
The car the Israelis were riding in was struck by a rocket launched from an area controlled by Assad’s army.
Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke with the family of Muhammad Karkara, the boy who was killed in the attack, and offered his condolences.
Mohamed, on vacation from school, accompanied his father, Fehmi Karkara, to work that day. Karkara is a contractor for the Ministry of Defense, and works on maintaining the border fence along the Golan Heights.
“Yesterday’s attack was an unprovoked act of aggression against Israel, and a direct continuation to recent attacks that occurred in the area,” IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said. “The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to breach Israel’s sovereignty and will act in order to safeguard the civilians of the State of Israel.”
“This is not a case of errant fire, but of an intentional attack,” he clarified after the attack Sunday. “The IDF will continue to watch the northern border and react to developments in the field accordingly.”
Minister of Defense Moshe Ya’alon stated after the attack in Syria:
“Tonight, the IDF attacked and destroyed a number of Syrian military targets. The attack took place following a serious incident yesterday which killed Israeli teenager Muhammad Karkara and injured two others. We hold Bashar al-Assad’s regime and the Syrian army responsible for what is happening in the area under their control, and we will respond aggressively and harshly against any provocation and violation of our sovereignty. Recently, there have been repeated attempts to act against Israel from the territory controlled by the Assad regime. We will not tolerate any harm of Israeli citizens and the IDF forces, and we will exact a heavy price from anyone who tries to disrupt our lives, whether it is the Syrian army and whether it is terrorist elements operating from Syrian territory.”
Minister Ya’alon sent his condolences to the Karkara and best wishes a speedy recovery to those injured during the incident yesterday.
Syria’s deputy foreign minister, Faisal Mekdad, demanded that the UN take action against Israel for “violating the 1974 ceasefire agreement” on the Golan Heights. He claims that Israel is supporting and helping the Syrian rebels who fighting against Assad’s army.
There has previously been a number of spillover attacks from Syria that landed in the Golan, but this is not the first that deliberately targeted Israel.
In March two Hezbollah-affiliated terrorists attempted to plant an explosive device near the Israel-Syria border in the northern Golan Heights. Later that month, a concealed explosive device was activated against IDF soldiers patrolling the Israel-Lebanon border. Additionally, an explosive device injured four IDF soldiers when it detonated under their patrol jeep near the Israel-Syria border.
Israel does not deny it is helping Syrians. Israel has by supplying free medical and hospital care to any injured Syria that makes it to border with Israel. The cost for Israel to treat enemy civilians has been in the million of dollars. The indirect payoff is that Syrian civilians are beginning to realize that the horror stories they heard about Israel aren’t true.
Content from Tazpit News Agency was used in this report.
Hezbollah terrorist chief Hassan Nasrallah claimed this week that Israel’s Galilee region is being threatened by events in Syria.
He noted that Israel was growing more worried about Iran as the days pass, and that the Jewish State is now closely guarding the Galilee region areas near the Golan Heights due to fear of cross-border attacks.
Nearly a month after an IDF jeep was blown up as soldiers patrolled along the northern border, Nasrallah also claimed responsibility for that attack, saying it came in response to one he blamed on Israel that prevented his group from receiving sophisticated arms from Iran.
But Israel has yet to acknowledge its part in the air strike, which left four Hezbollah terrorists dead. A missile launcher and two trucks that set out from Syria bearing supplies of missiles allegedly able to carry newer, heavier warheads never reached the Hezbollah warehouses.
According to a report in the Lebanese Daily Star newspaper quoting an interview published Monday in the As-Safir newspaper, Syrian government forces have begun to re-establish their control over Damascus and surrounds. Not good news for the State of Israel, said Nasrallah, who told the newspaper the regime of President Bashar al-Assad is no longer in jeopardy.
Nasrallah claimed that although opposition forces in Syria appeared to have the upper hand last year, the fact that Assad remained in office was proof “the danger of the Syrian regime falling has ended and we have exceeded the risk of partition.”
The Shi’ite terror chief added that although there had been one group in Syria that had opposed Hezbollah’s presence, but that the issue had been settled. Nasrallah said that the presence of “radical groups” in Syria are an existential threat to Lebanon and the region.
The Al Qaeda terrorist organization – a radical Islamist Sunni group – has been referred to by rival terrorists as a “radical” organization. While the conflict in Syria often appears to Western eyes as a basic civil war, that is not what this is really about.
In the absence of an orderly transfer of power from Assad to another strong administrative hand at the helm, Syria is now in the process of being systematically hacked apart by rival groups backed by various Arab countries, each vying for a piece of the land in which to set up independent emirates.
Many are radical Islamists linked to groups like Al Qaeda or Hezbollah, although some are independent. A separate sector of groups is loosely tied together in the moderate secular council of opposition forces known as the Syrian National Council.
It is this group with which the West tried to form a relationship – only to discover that any military support it provided was handed over to radical Islamic terrorists whenever the groups united together to fight Syria’s government army.
Israel has been providing medical support to the opposition forces – and possibly to Assad’s forces as well, it is not really clear – in a field hospital set up in the ‘no man’s land’ buffer zone in the Golan Heights. Critically wounded Syrians are somehow spirited over the border and brought to Israeli hospitals in Tzfat and sometimes elsewhere in Israel for special care.
Throughout March there was a drastic increase in terror attacks on various Israeli fronts.
There was an increase in terrorist attacks against Israeli targets.These attacks varied from failed attempts to smuggle long-range surface-to-surface rockets into Gaza, two explosive devices detonated against IDF soldiers on both the Lebanese and Syrian borders, a barrage of 70 rockets fired at southern Israel from Gaza, an uncovering of the largest tunnel so far from Gaza into Israel, and routine activities in the Central Command in order to prevent terrorist activities and safeguard Israeli life.
Operation “Full Disclosure” took place on March 5, when the IDF managed to prevent an attempt to smuggle an Iranian shipment of advanced weaponry intended for terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip. The operation was possible due to the combination of in-depth intelligence and enhanced operational capabilities. In the successful operation, 40 rockets (type M-302), which can reach up to a range of 160 kilometers, 181 mortar shells (122 mm) and approximately 400,000 7.62 caliber rounds were found on board the Klos-C.
Increase in Instability on the Northern Border
In March, two rockets landed in northern Israel, and two concealed explosive devices were detonated against IDF soldiers along the Israeli border with Lebanon (March 14) and Syria (March 18). During the latter, four soldiers were injured. A similar incident was prevented on March 5, when soldiers identified three Hezbollah-affiliated terrorists attempting to conceal an explosive device in the northern Golan Heights. The IDF responded immediately and fired towards the suspects.
At the end of the month (March 28), the IDF opened fire towards two armed suspects who infiltrated into Israel in the central Golan Heights. Following this escalation, the IDF is reviewing the rules of engagement along the border.
Gaza: Defending Israel From Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas
Over the course of the month, approximately 123 rockets were launched from Gaza at Israel, out of which 77 rockets hit southern Israel. These figures include the massive rocket attack that took place between March 12-March 14, when a barrage of 70 rockets hit southern Israel, and five additional rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. This was the most severe rocket attack since operation “Pillar of Defense.”
At the end of the month (March 21), the IDF exposed the opening of a tunnel built by Gaza terrorists near Israeli civilian communities. The tunnel was dug 1,200 meters into Israel. This is the fourth tunnel exposed in the last 18 months, indicating a clear Hamas strategy to create points of infiltration from Gaza into Israel.
Over the past month, two explosive devices were uncovered and detonated in the southern Gaza Strip adjacent to the fence.
The IDF prevented rocket attacks on Israeli civilians by precision-targeting terror squads in Gaza responsible for launching attacks at southern Israel. IAF aircraft targeted a terrorist squad preparing to launch rockets (March 3) and a terrorist squad affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, immediately after they fired a mortar shell at IDF soldiers (March 11).
On Friday night, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) attacked 3 Arabs that infiltrated from Syria into Israel on the Golan Heights, near Kibbutz Ein Zivan.
Two of the infiltrators were killed, the third was injured.
At least one of the infiltrators was armed, and the IDF said they were trying to damage the security fence between the two countries.
Earlier this month, IDF soldiers were seriously injured from an explosion along the Syrian-Israel border.