Israel has been bolstering its forces on the Golan Heights amid fears that Islamic State (Isis) jihadists are close to gaining control of the Syrian side of the strategic plateau.
Ireland may not replace its 130-person rapid response force in the Golan Heights, where 44 peacekeepers from Fiji are being held by rebels, Ireland’s Defense Minister said on Monday, according to Reuters.
According to the minister, Simon Coveney, Ireland would like the United Nations to review its mandate for its forces there.
It’s too dangerous guarding border crossings in the Golan Heights for Australian blue helmeted troops. So they are withdrawing. But the Russians are coming to the rescue. Offering troops for UN peacekeeping duties. But to Israel, this may be a bit troubling. Russia maintains a naval base in Syria. And is a strong supporter of the Assad regime.
A UN-monitored crossing in the Golan Heights which had been captured by Syrian rebels has been retaken by government troops, the Israeli military says. The crossing is adjacent to territory held by the Israelis. Meanwhile, Austrian troops assigned to the UN contingent in the Golan say they will withdraw because of the increased, encroaching, fighting.
By PETER PATRON
With the Naksa Day encroachments by pro-Palestinians from the Golan Heights still fresh in all Israeli minds and the threat by Syrian dictator Bashar Assad to send 600,000 paid demonstrators to Israel’s borders in the future to reclaim their alleged stolen towns and farmlands, concern is rising in the upper echelons of the Netanyahu government and Israeli security circles on how to deal effectively with this new form of terrorism and civil disobedience.
The Syrians, along with the modern day triumvirate of evil axis, Turkey, Iran and Hamas, believe they have developed the perfect weapon to use against Israel, an evolving weapon which they think will be more devastating than any violent version of terrorism, in which they can prosecute their malicious intent on the occupiers by reclaiming the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria and ultimately, holy Jerusalem itself.This disturbing and unnerving tactic by Israel’s enemies is viewed as a Shoah threat to the Land of Israel by the Israeli Cabinet according to sources in the military establishment.
The Doomsday scenario once uttered by Yasser Arafat that he would send one million Ghaza residents to march on Jerusalem is now being re-enacted in the minds of the Netanyahu governement and that of IDF commander Benny Gantz and his fellow generals. A frantic search for an authentic deterrent or deterrents,is being initiated at the highest levels of the Israeli government. A government ever mindful of its duty to protect the state of Israel. But also deeply worried about being dragged into a potentially explosive lose-lose situation. One which would oil the wheels of the delegitimization of Israel as a pariah and apartheid state, in the eyes of the Arabs, the hostile UN and the rest of the observing world.
Peter Paton is an international PR and strategic adviser.
JERUSALEM – The protesters who marched on Israel’s borders Sunday in which Syrian media reports claimed the lives of nearly two dozens Syrians were reportedly paid to try to encroach on Israeli territory.
According to the Syrian opposition, the regime in Damascus paid poor farmers $1,000 to cross into Israeli territory and harass the Israeli army. It is alleged that the government promised an additional $25,000 to the families of those killed.
The Reform Party of Syria wrote on its official website that Syrian farmers make less than $200 a month, so many were tempted by the offer. And, if Syrian government media is to be believed, at least 23 paid with their lives for accepting the bribe.
Israeli army officials said very few of the Syrian demonstrators were actually injured or killed by Israeli gunfire. Most were the victims of clearly marked minefields stretching along the border region, the IDF said.
The Reform Party of Syria was furious with the President Bashar Assad for sending the farmers to their deaths, and accused the government of trying to create a diversion to take international focus off of the bloody pro-democracy uprising taking place there. Thousands of Syrians demanding democratic freedoms have been massacred by government forces.
The largest march on Israel’s borders marking the anniversary of the start of the Six Day War in 1967 – which the Arabs refer to as “the Setback” – was to come from Lebanon. But it didn’t materialize.
Early estimates were that upwards of 100,000 Lebanese would try to cross into northern Israel. But the Lebanese army prevented most from reaching the border region.
The Palestinians were only slightly more enthusiastic. Palestinians clashed with Israeli soldiers north of Jerusalem, carrying signs that read “A million martyrs are marching on Jerusalem.”
Some 40 Palestinians were wounded when Israeli security forces used non-lethal crowd control methods to defend themselves against the rioters.
At least four Israeli Arab Knesset members took part in the violent anti-Israel demonstrations, once again prompting calls that they be stripped of their parliamentary immunity.
Protesters from the Golan Heights trying to cross into Israel have been fired upon by the IDF. Syrian TV claims four protesters were killed.
The IDF says those attempting to cross over near Majdal Shams were issued the following warning:
“Stop! You are breaching an international border. We warn you not to damage security infrastructure. Whosoever attempts to violate Israel’s sovereignty or security infrastructure puts himself in jeopardy. Please return to Syria.”
Tear gas was deployed for those who did not heed the warning. Soldiers were ordered to fire non-lethal rounds.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the breaching of Israel’s boundaries is an attempt to repeat the mass incursion into his nation two-and-a-half weeks ago during the Palestinian’s Day of Catastrophe, marking the anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel.
“Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas were all partners to these provocations,” Netanyahu said.
“Those same factors are expected in the next few days, once again, to challenge Israel’s sovereignty and undermine the borders of the country.”
As with any other nation in the world, Netanyahu says, “Israel has the right and the duty to guard its borders and protect them.”
He said he instructed the IDF and others protecting the borders to “respond with restraint, yet with the necessary resolve to protect our borders, our communities and our citizens.”
By SOL LACHMAN
After two years of pushing Israel to reach a peace agreement with Syria, a top US State Department official indicated Tuesday the Obama administration is no longer looking at the current regime as a partner for such a deal, the Jerusalem Post is reporting.
More and more often I feel like a teenager in response to U.S. foreign policy.
“Well, du-h!” is all I can think of to say to this latest stupidity.
The sub-text for the article is that the administration is so embarrassed that a major shift in U.S. policy is merely “indicated” not announced by an un-named, but “top” official. The story does not mention whether the official was sporting un-wiped ‘’facial egg’’ nor in what quantity.