Syria's Golan Height Protesters Slam Israel's Support for Al-Nusra

Posted November 06, 2017

The Israeli army on Friday issued a rare statement pledging not to allow a government-held village in Syria's Golan Heights to be taken by attacking rebel forces.

Several dozens of them cut the border fence and crossed over in a bid to reach Khadr and defend it before they were apprehended and brought back by Israeli troops.

Hader has been aligned with the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad (the Druze are typically loyal to whichever party is in power), making it a target for all of the various rebel and Islamist groups participating in Syria's civil war.

Meanwhile, Quds Press said that the Israeli occupation army had recently dissolved the Druze Brigade, fearing it would intervene if Syrian Druze were attacked.

The IDF statement came after a Nusra Front suicide bomber killed at least nine people in Hader, which is located just across the border from Majdal Shams in the Golan Heights.

The agency said the death toll was expected to rise because a number of those wounded in the bombing were in serious condition and the ongoing assault on the town made it hard to remove the injured to safety.

Israeli army spokesman, Brigadier General Ronen Manelis, said the military was ready to "prevent Hader from being harmed or occupied, as part of our commitment to the Druze population".

It said that in addition to exchange of fire and shelling, there was a big explosion caused by the detonation of a booby-trapped vehicle by one of the rebel groups at the entrance to Hader.

In a statement, the IDF said that the situation along the border and in Khader was "under control".

The Palestinian Authority Foreign Ministry on Saturday claimed the Israeli government was supporting terrorist groups that attacked a Druze town in southern Syria, but then reversed its policy after the Druze community in Israel protested. The attack included the vehicle bomb in Hader.

There are an estimated 20,000 Druze living under the Israeli-occupied portion of the Golan Heights which was captured from Syria in the 1967 Six Day war and was de facto annexed by Israel in the early 80s.

He warned al-Nusra against coming near the village that lies in the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

"According to IDF intelligence, the Iranian-made UAV was operated by Hezbollah, and took off from Damascus Military Airport". Syria says the raids aim to help Takfiri militants fighting against government forces.