Published: Mon, November 06, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Dozens of Israeli Druze citizens cross border into Syria, IDF returns them

Dozens of Israeli Druze citizens cross border into Syria, IDF returns them

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.

The statement was an unusually explicit Israeli pledge to intervene in the war in Syria, where Israeli officials are voicing deeper alarm at the role of Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah, which are fighting alongside the Syrian government. Several Druze soldiers have reached the upper echelon of the army.

Violence by Islamist rebels against Syria's Druze minority has been controversial within Israel, which has its own Druze minority, and this appears to have convinced Israel to change its position, at least in this one village's case.

According to Syrian state media, rockets and gunfire followed the bombing in Hader, close to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Al-Nusra Front is the old name for a jihadist group that was formerly Al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria and is now known as the Fateh al-Sham Front.

After the suicide bombing on Friday morning, the IDF promised to "support the [Hader] village residents and work to prevent any harm or the occupation of the village, out of a commitment to the Druze population".

Israeli security forces say they are "prepared and ready" to prevent the capture of a village in Syria's Quneitra province caught up in clashes between President Bashar al-Assad's troops and rebels.

Israel has a policy of providing medical assistance to Syrians wounded in the conflict, transporting some into its territory for treatment.

The head of the IDF's Northern Command, Maj.

Israel has been launching airstrikes against various targets in Syria, usually saying it is either targeting "Hezbollah infrastructure" or responding to "stray projectiles" flying into Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

After the mounting accusations, Israel showed exceptional interest in Khodr, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayahu telephoning Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to announce his support for the Druze community. "It is expensive, but we will continue to invest".

The Jewish state has officially maintained a posture of non-intervention in the war in Syria that erupted after anti- government protests in March 2011. Israeli Druze attempted to help as well, as they broke through the border fence in an attempt to help their compatriots in the battle.

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