'Israel considers building buffer zone inside Syria'

'Sunday Times' quotes military planners as saying plan to protect Israel from global jihadists already been shown to PM.

Netanyahu surveys Syrian border 370 (photo credit: Koby Gideon/GPO)
Netanyahu surveys Syrian border 370
(photo credit: Koby Gideon/GPO)
Israel is considering creating a buffer zone reaching up to 10 miles inside Syria, The Sunday Times quoted sources close to military planners as saying.
The Times reported that the proposal, intended to protect itself from rebels across the northern frontier, has been presented to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
“A buffer zone set up with the co-operation of local villagers lies at the heart of the plan. If the country remains unstable we might have to stay there for years,” The Times quoted a military planner as saying.
A security fence is currently being erected from Mount Avital south to the point where the Israeli, Syrian and Jordanian borders meet on the southern Golan Heights, but, according to the military source, a buffer zone is necessary to prevent daily mortar and rocket attacks.
"We knew then that there was a strongman in Damascus. But not any more. The new wall will be good when it’s ready but without the buffer zone mortar and rocket attacks on Israel would be a daily event," The Times quoted the military source as saying.
The prime minister was previously quoted as saying Israel needs to construct a border fence with Syria on the Golan Heights because the Syrian army has moved away from the frontier, and global jihad elements have moved into the area in its place.
The prime minister said he issued a directive not to disband the Defense Ministry staff responsible for the construction of the fence, and to continue building security barriers on all of Israel’s other frontiers, “first and foremost on our border with Syria.”
Israel intended to build a border fence along the frontier with Syria on the Golan Heights, he said. “We know that today on the other side of the border with Syria the Syrian army has moved away, and in its place global jihad elements have moved in.”
The prime minister said Israel needed to defend the North both from illegal infiltration and from terrorist elements. Netanyahu also said that the Syrian regime was “very unstable,” and that Syria’s chemical weapons were concerning Israel. Israel was coordinating its intelligence and assessments with the US “and others,” with the objective being to “prepare for any eventuality and possibility that could develop there,” he said.
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.