IDF chief Gantz: Syrian conflict might become ours

Gantz visits border day after 3 Syrian tanks enter demilitarized zone; spokesman says IDF ready for moment Israel comes under fire.

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November 4, 2012 14:16
1 minute read.
IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz tours Syrian border

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz tours Syrian border 390. (photo credit: IDF Spokesman Unit)

 
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A day after three Syrian tanks entered the demilitarized zone on the Golan Heights to attack Syrian rebels, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz visited the border region on Sunday, and warned army forces that “the Syrian affair could turn into our affair.”

Gantz instructed the IDF to be on alert in the area, and to prevent any spillover of the Syrian conflict onto Israeli territory.

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The chief of staff toured the border with Division 36, which is responsible for the Golan Heights, and was told how IDF soldiers can hear tank and automatic weapons fire from the Syrian side of the border, as well as shouts of “Allahu Akbar.”

“Division 36 is ready for any moment in which the shooting will change direction and will be turned on us,” IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai, who accompanied Gantz, said.

The Syrian tanks that entered the demilitarized zone on Saturday have still not left the area.

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The IDF has called on the United Nations’ Disengagement Force on the Golan Heights to oversee the withdrawal of the tanks.

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The vehicles entered Be’er Ajam, a few kilometers from an IDF position on the border.

Earlier on Saturday, locals near the Syrian border reported hearing heavy exchanges of fire between the Syrian army and rebels.

Israel lodged a complaint with the United Nations over the cease-fire violation. The defense establishment has concluded, however, that the tank movement is linked to the Syrian civil war and not intended as an act of aggression against Israel.

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