Rare violence at Syrian border
Photo: AP

IDF: Forces shoot Syrian gunman at border

Army spokesman says infiltrator carried a gun; man lightly wounded, treated in Israeli hospital

IDF forces shot and wounded an armed man who crossed from Syria into the Golan Heights on Wednesday, the army said.


Violence along the Israeli-Syrian border is rare and the IDF said the incident was reported to United Nations forces in the area.


An army spokesman said it was not immediately clear why the man entered the Golan. Troops shot at the man because he was carrying a gun, the spokesman said. The infiltrator was lightly wounded in the incident and was taken to an Israeli hospital for treatment.


About a month ago, IDF forces killed a Syrian man who arrived at the border fence in the northern Golan Heights in order to carry out a drug deal. Another man at the scene was shot and wounded.


'We'll be ready'

Earlier Wednesday, sources in Damascus told Qatar's Al-Watan newspaper that the the Syrian leadership has taken several preventive measures fearing a drill held by the IDF in the Golan Heights may develop into a military strike.


Defense Minister Ehud Barak said while observing the drill Tuesday that "it's not by chance that the army is training in the Golan so extensively. We are seeing a significant strengthening by Hizbullah in the past few years. We're monitoring any possibility of a shift in balance (of power) due to the Syrians supplying Hizbullah with advances weapons' systems.


"We're doing what needs to be done, preparation wise. I'd rather not elaborate. If we need to take action we'll be ready," he said.


Israel and Syria announced in May that they were conducting indirect peace talks with Turkish mediation. The previous negotiations collapsed in 2000 after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on the fate of the Golan.


פרסום ראשון: 08.14.08, 00:53
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