IDF exchanges fire with metal thieves

IDF soldiers exchanged fire with armed metal thieves on the Israel-Syria border late on Tuesday night, IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai says.

July 18, 2013 01:11
1 minute read.
IDF troops survey the Golan Heights.

IDF troops survey golan heights 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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IDF soldiers exchanged fire with armed metal thieves on the Israel-Syria border late on Tuesday night, IDF spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai said Wednesday.

Mordechai said the thieves entered Israeli territory from Syria – though they did not pass the border fence– and approached an abandoned IDF outpost.

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The IDF identified the infiltrators, and soldiers on a patrol were ordered to fire in the suspects’ direction to deter them and get them to turn back.

The thieves returned fire, prompting soldiers to shoot at them, Mordechai said.

“Then, the incident, which was managed by commanders in forward positions, reached its end,” he added.

Mordechai denied reports of a terrorist infiltration or of an attack on soldiers.

“The bleeding Syrian civil war is trickling to the Golan Heights border, and has been doing so for a while – until now, at a low intensity,” he said.

The IDF is prepared for potential incidents, and beefing up the frontier fence, as well as improving intelligence gathering, he added.

The army is also drilling its forces and working on operational plans for “the moment when the situation on the ground changes,” Mordechai said.

“This is the daily challenge in safeguarding the country’s borders and the security of its residents,” he added.

On Tuesday, several errant mortars, fired in the course of battles between rebels and the army loyal to the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, exploded in Israeli territory near the Syrian border.

An IDF source said that despite widespread reports of dozens of mortars falling in Israel on Tuesday, less than 10 had actually crossed the border, with the remainder exploding on the Syrian side.

No injuries or damages in Israel were reported.

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