IDF soldiers fire on, hit two gunmen attempting to sabotage border fence on Golan Heights

Earlier this month, an IDF patrol in the northern Golan Heights came under attack when an explosive device was detonated near the soldiers’ jeep.

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March 28, 2014 23:42
2 minute read.
Syrian border explosion

Device detonated against IDF soldier March 18. (photo credit: AVIV AZUZ)

 
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IDF soldiers shot two gunmen seen attempting to sabotage the border fence with Syria on the Golan Heights on Friday.

A terse IDF statement said the troops “opened fire, hits were confirmed” after spotting the suspects penetrating the Israeli frontier.

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The Israeli news website Ynet said both men had been killed, but a military spokeswoman would not confirm their condition, nor was it clear to which group the men belonged.

“A short while ago two armed individuals were identified in the parameter of the border barrier on the Golan Heights, who attempted to sabotage the operational infrastructure in the border. In response to that, we attacked and hit the suspects,” read a statement that was posted Friday on the IDF’s official Twitter account.

An army source confirmed both men were armed, adding that he did not know whether they belonged to Hezbollah.

“The IDF will continue protecting the border area and prevent terrorist attacks,” an army statement said.

Earlier this month, an IDF patrol traveling on the northern Golan Heights near the Syrian border came under attack when an explosive device was detonated near the soldiers’ jeep.

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The soldiers, from the IDF’s Paratroop 202nd Battalion, had stopped and exited their vehicle after noticing suspicious movements in the area.

At that point, the explosive went off.

Four soldiers sustained light to serious wounds, including the deputy commander of the battalion.

Helicopter extracts wounded soldier March,18 Photo: Aviv Azuz

The attack was the third in a few weeks, with two occurring on the Syrian border and one occurring on the Lebanese border.

They came after Hezbollah vowed to respond to what it said was an IDF strike on Lebanese territory, which, according to international media reports, targeted advanced weapons smuggled from Syria to Lebanon.

Last month, the IDF mobilized a new division to the border with Syria and rotated away the division previously responsible for sector, as part of its preparations for defending the Golan Heights from growing radicalism and anarchy raging across the northern border.

The 210th Regional Bashan Division has replaced the 36th Division on the Golan Heights and the Har Dov sector, in what the IDF has described as a significant boost to border security and stability.

Speaking from the Golan Heights in late February, IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen.

Benny Gantz said that the Israeli side of the border looks quiet, but that “underneath the quiet, a storm is raging.”

There is no region in which Iran is not involved, he said, adding that the Islamic Republic is “giving out torches to pyromaniacs who are running wild in the region.”

Reuters and JTA contributed to this report.

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