IDF troops prevented a border infiltration from Syria on Saturday when a Syrian man approached the border and tried to cut through the security fence. Soldiers shot him.
The IDF said that the troops spotted the Syrian while on a routine patrol on the southern Golan Heights in the afternoon. The man was trying to break through the fence and the soldiers called out to him a number of times to stop.
When he refused, they opened fire in the air, but when he continued trying to cut through the fence, the soldiers opened fire, hitting him in the leg with a single bullet. The man was then evacuated by several Syrian civilians. The IDF said that he was not armed.
A senior officer in the Northern Command’s Golan Division said that the IDF has recorded an increase in the number of Syrians approaching the border in recent days, likely connected to the escalating violence in Syria.
“Our assumption is that someone who approaches the border and tries to cut it is not coming peacefully and is likely a terrorist,” the officer said. “Any infiltration of the border is a violation of Israel’s sovereignty and the IDF will respond accordingly.”
The army has been beefing up its defenses along the Syrian border, due to concerns that terrorists are planning an attack in the Golan Heights.
The IDF is concerned about a number of types of potential attacks, including a crossborder infiltration into an Israeli community on the Golan, the abduction of a soldier or civilian, or rocket fire into Israel from Syria.
While there has been an increase in the presence of global jihad operatives in Syria, the IDF believes they are focused on toppling Bashar Assad’s regime, but that once that happens, they will shift their focus to attacking Israel, as their comrades in the Sinai Peninsula have been doing.
The army is also preparing for the possibility that large numbers of Syrians will rush the border to try to flee the regime’s bloody crackdown.
The IDF has prepared a number of areas along the border where it plans to contain the civilians in such a case, and protect them from Syrian military forces if needed.
The government would decide whether to allow the refuge-seekers into Israel.