gpolit.com
gpolit.com November 23, 2017


Israel considering Syria operation to 'assist' Druze after vehicle bomb

04 November 2017, 12:22 | Rufus Hill

Facebook pageIDF Spokesman Ronen Manelis with local Druze at the Syrian border

Facebook pageIDF Spokesman Ronen Manelis with local Druze at the Syrian border

The IDF statement came after a Nusra Front suicide bomber killed at least nine people in Hader, which is located just across the border from Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights.

SANA said people in the Golan Heights took to the streets in protest against what it called Israeli support for "the terrorist attack launched by Jabhat al-Nusra" on Hader.

"In the aftermath of the terrorist attack, terrorist groups carried out a heavy attack on Hader, and army units and the Popular Defence units [pro-government militias] clashed with the attackers", Sans said.

"The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) is prepared and ready to assist the residents of the village and prevent damage to or the capture of the village Hader out of commitment to the Druze population", the military said in a statement.

SANA said the toll was expected to rise because a number of those wounded in the bombing were in serious condition and the ongoing assault on the town made it hard to remove the injured to safety. The group re-branded itself as Tahrir al-Sham in January after it severed ties with al Qaeda a year ago.

There are approximately 140,000 Druze in Israel, including 20,000 in the Golan Heights.

Israel's Druze, some of whom have reached the senior echelons of the Israeli military and government, have been calling for help on behalf of their brethren in Syria, both at home and overseas. They were assisted by units of the Syrian army.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres of the Golan Heights from Syria in the Arab-Israeli War of 1967 and later annexed it, a move never recognised by the worldwide community.

The Israel Police said that due to the battles near Syrian border, as a part of the general police preparation at the Golan Heights, forces were deployed and stationed at major intersections in the north.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated from London that Israel will continue to "guard our borders and to cherish our sympathy toward our Druze brothers".

The policy has been controversial, and in 2015, members of the country's Druze minority attacked two ambulances transporting Syrians, killing one and injuring another.



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