web analytics
April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Golan Heights’

IDF Tests Soldiers with Surprise Drill near Syrian Border

Monday, September 9th, 2013

The IDF staged a surprise drill Saturday night on Mount Hermon, and Nahal Brigade soldiers used live fire and took over a mock outpost near the border with Syria. The exercise had been planned, and the IDF said it was not necessarily connected to the current tension in the wake of a threatened American military attack on Syria.

Two battalions were involved in the exercise.

“We believe that we have to be prepared whenever when we have an opportunity” to train, said Lt. Col. Oshik Azulai. “Soldiers have an obligation to the country and to the IDF to be ready for war…with the enemy, and we have a lot of them,” he added.

The surprise drill was part of a three-month training period that will conclude in November with a major exercise, assuming the soldiers are not needed earlier for action on the Syrian or Lebanese front.

Israelis to Munch 15,000 Tons of Apples this Rosh Hashanah Season

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

The apple and honey tradition on Rosh Hashanah has Israelis consuming 15,000 tons of apples during the month of September, an increase of almost 50 percent  from average consumption during the rest of the year.

Israel’s crop of apples is of a particularly high quality this year, according to Amos Levin, general manager of the Galilee Development Corporation and chairman of the apple division of Israel’s Plants Production and Marketing Board.

“This summer’s relative cooler temperatures, especially at night, helped produce a higher quality of crop,” he said. Levin noted that this year’s crop, harvested from August through November, is excellent for size, color and taste.

Nearly all of Israel’s apples are grown in the hills of the Galilee and the Golan Heights because apples require cold winters and cooler summer nights to grow best.

The northern apple orchards are located on hills that are more than 2,000 feet higher and cover approximately 10,500 acres.

More than 100,000 tons of apples are sold in Israel each year, with the apple market valued at more than $200 million, serving as the core for the local economy in the Golan Heights. Another 7,000 tons of apples are imported into Israel from the United States and Europe.

While Israel exports little of its apples abroad, this year, the country exported 18,000 tons of apples grown by Druze farmers living in the Golan to Syria, in coordination with the Plants Production and Marketing Board, the IDF and the Red Cross. The Druze apple growers of the Golan have been selling to Syria has for the past eight year, but the apple exports were stopped in 2012 when the war situation became too volatile.

This year the apple industry also drew a number of university students from across Israel interested in learning more about agriculture and helping out Golan apple growers.

Sapir college student, Yotam Eyal told Tazpit News Agency that he and his friends have been picking apples for the past month.

“We are college students from all over Israel – from the Negev, Jerusalem, and the north, who are interested in learning more about agriculture and connecting to the land,” Eyal explained. “There are projects that have been initiated in the past year which get students involved in these areas.”

“It’s good to see where a fruit like an apple that you buy in the supermarket comes from,” commented Eyal. “Picking apples all day in the orchard is hard work. But it has made us appreciate dipping the apple in honey that much more this Rosh HaShanah.”

Explosion Wounds 4 Soldiers at Northern Border; IDF Mum

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

An explosion wounded four Israeli soldiers at the Lebanese border overnight, but the IDF is not releasing any information on the incident and whether it was an attack or a result of a maneuver. An IDF statement said the soldiers “were wounded last night by an explosion during operational activity in the north.”

The soldiers suffered “light to moderate” injuries, but a spokesman told the Jewish Press the military would not even divulge to which hospital they were evacuated.

The IDF also not say where the explosion occurred and refused to answer if it was in the Golan Heights or at the border near the area of Metulla, in the Upper Galilee, or to the west towards the Mediterranean Coast.

The border area, especially on the Golan Heights, has been subject to mortar and rifle fire from Syria,  sometimes aimed intentionally at Israel and sometimes fire from both sides in the Syrian civil war.

Prosor Urges UN to Condemn Syrian Fire on Golan on Tisha B’Av

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Ron Prosor told the U.N. Security Council, “ I urge you to condemn the incident and the Syrian government’s grave violation of the Separation of Forces Agreement” in which Syrian mortar hit the Golan Heights on Tuesday, Tisha B’Av. “The fasting and prayers of thousands of Israelis commemorating the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’Av were interrupted by a barrage of mortar shells fired from Syria,” Prosor stated.

“At the same time, and in a grave violation of the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement, tanks, trucks and armored vehicles belonging to Syrian government forces entered the buffer zone.

“Israel is an island of stability in a region steeped in violence, blood and destruction, and we expect that the Security Council will do everything in its power in order to maintain stability,” Prosor  added.

Updated: Syrian Infiltrators Attack IDF Patrol on Golan, and 25 Mortars Too

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013

Two Syrian rebels crossed over into the Golan on Tuesday night. The IDF now believes that it was Syrian army soldiers who simultaneously opened fire at the IDF patrol, from across the border. The IDF soldiers shot back at the source of the fire. No IDF soldiers were injured in the attack. The status of the two Syrians who crossed over is currently unknown.

In addition, 6 mortars, launched from Syria, hit the Israeli side of the Golan today, and another 20 landed near the border.

At least one false alarm was heard this evening, in or near the town of Katzrin on the Golan.

Hezbollah Spying on Golan Heights from Syria

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

The IDF is forming a new division to operate in the Golan Heights, which faces a new threat of Hezbollah terrorists and weapons that had been limited to the Lebanese border before Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah sent his army to fight with Assad loyalists against Syrian rebels.

The new Golan division reflects the new situation in the Golan Heights, which now is on the border of clashes between Assad’s army and rebels and has been subject to frequent rifle fire and mortar shelling, usually accidental and sometimes intentional.

The military’s other four divisions are located along the border with Lebanon, in the Negev, next to Gaza and in Judea and Samaria.

Syrian President Bassar al-Assad has demanded for years that Israel surrender the strategic Golan Heights, but despite Syria’s being a declared enemy, Israel has enjoyed the advantage of a stable regime across the border. Stability usually is preferable to the unknown, especially if it is in the enemy’s court.

The rebellion in Syria more than two years ago created a nervous uncertainty in Israel, and Hezbollah’s recent move into the area has extended the area from which the terrorist organization can strike.

Nasrallah threatened earlier this year to turn the Golan Heights into a new front against Israel.

Israel has been preparing for a another attack from Lebanon ever since the end of the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Hezbollah has stockpiled tens of thousands of rockets and anti-tank missiles, most of them smuggled in from Syria, with Iranian and Russian trademarks.

Hezbollah is gathering intelligence on the IDF in the Golan Heights, according to Reuters, quoting an Israeli source. “It is not at an alarming level now but we understand their intentions,” he said.

Adding to Israel’s concerns are the heavy presence of Al Qaeda and other jihadist groups fighting alongside the rebels. Whichever side wins, Israel loses, assuming that the same instability that replaced Hosni Mubarak’s regime in Egypt will be the case in Syria.

“We know they are busy now but once it ends they will turn their guns on us,” the military source told Reuters. “We’re not waiting for an attack. We’re building the border fence; we have sent up tanks, more regiments, field intelligence … and increased observations.”

For what it’s worth, the United Security Council on Wednesday called on Hezbollah to end its involvement in Syria.

“The Security Council calls upon all Lebanese parties to recommit to Lebanon’s policy of disassociation, to stand united behind President Michel Suleiman in this regard and to step back from any involvement in the Syrian crisis,” the Council said.

The United Nations did not name Hezbollah, due to Russian objections, but Hezbollah clearly was intended.

Given the previous failures of the international body to live up to its commitment to disarm Hezbollah after the Second Lebanon War, Wednesday’s statement can safely be discarded.

Druze in Israel Ask to Bring 20 Families from Syria

Sunday, June 23rd, 2013

Druze leaders living on the Israeli Golan Heights asked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to allow Druze from 20 families in Syria to enter Israel.

The Druze living in Syria had left the Golan as students, many marrying and starting families, but the request could expand to include family members of the Golan Druze stuck in the middle of the violent two-year Syrian civil war.

Approximately 20,000 Druze and a slightly larger number of Jews live on the Golan Heights.

Putin: Russian Troops Can Replace Austrians on Golan Heights

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

Russia is ready to replace peacekeepers from Austria in the Golan Heights, President Vladimir Putin said.

Putin’s statement on Thursday, Reuters reported, was in reaction to an announcement by the Austrian government, which said it would recall its troops from a U.N. monitoring force due to worsening fighting in Syria.

“Given the complicated situation in the Golan Heights, we could replace the leaving Austrian contingent in this region on the border between Israeli troops and the Syrian army,” Putin said at a televised meeting with Russian military officers.

“But this will happen, of course, only if the regional powers show interest, and if the U.N. secretary general asks us to do so,” he added.

Austria, whose peacekeepers account for about 380 of the 1,000-strong U.N. force observing a four-decade-old ceasefire between Syria and Israel, said it would pull out after intense clashes between Syrian government forces and rebels on the border.

Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s minister of intelligence, international relations and strategic affairs, said in a statement Thursday the Austrian move was “regrettable” and “teaches a clear and simple lesson: Even under a peace agreement, Israel cannot rely for its security on international forces to replace Israel Defense Forces.”

Russia, a longtime ally and arms supplier to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, is trying along with Western powers to bring the warring sides in Syria together for talks on a solution to the more than two-year-old conflict.

The U.N. Security Council will meet on Friday to discuss the Austrian withdrawal after anti-Assad rebels briefly seized the crossing between Israel and Syria, sending U.N. staff scurrying to bunkers before Syrian soldiers managed to push them back.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/putin-russian-troops-can-replace-austrians-on-golan-heights/2013/06/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: