Archive for the ‘Golan Heights’ Category

Assad regains control as Syrian rebels abandon area bordering …

Dozens of Syrian rebels and their families departed aboard buses from an area besieged by government forces bordering the Israeli Golan Heights early Saturday in part of a deal to clear yet another district of anti-regime insurgents.

The Beit Jinn area was the last significant rebel-held enclave southwest of Damascus. Its surrender allowed President Bashar Assad to reassert control over the Syrian Golan.

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The government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media said 153 people, including 106 fighters, left the village of Beit Jinn early Saturday toward the southern province of Daraa.

The Ibaa news agency of the al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee said six buses carrying fighters and their families arrived in rebel-held parts of Daraa province.

On Friday, Syrias state news agency SANA said some 300 al-Qaeda-linked militants and their families would be sent to Daraa and the northwestern province of Idlib.

Syrian President Bashar Assad speaks at the presidential palace in Damascus, Syria, Sept. 21, 2016 (Syrian Presidency via AP)

The evacuation allows the government to reassert control over Beit Jinn near the Golan Heights, captured by Israel from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War.

On Tuesday Reuters had reported that the besieged rebels had been ordered by surrounding regime forces to surrender or face defeat.

They were given 72 hours to surrender with fighters to go to [rebel-held] Idlib or those who want to stay have to reach a settlement, said a Free Syrian Arm official said.

Rebels situated in Beit Jinn faced Syrian military forces as well as Iranian-backed militias and the Hezbollah terrorist group. Fierce fighting had been reported in the area in recent days as the forces backing President Bashar Assad advanced on the rebels.

In this photo released on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian government forces stand on their checkpoint as busses, background, wait to evacuate Syrian rebels and their families from Beit Jinn village, in the southern province of Daraa, Syria. (SANA via AP)

Israel has publicly warned against the accumulation of Iranian and Iranian-backed forces at its border. Iran has arranged for thousands of militiamen from across the region to fight on behalf of Assads government and has sent top commanders to direct its own Revolutionary Guards in the country as well.

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Tzfat (Safed) & Golan Heights Day Tour – Tour Plan Israel

Tour HighlightsSafed (in Hebrew Tzefat),Kabbalah Center,Ari Hakadosh Synagogue,Artists’ Quarter,Golan Heights,Syrian bunkers,panoramic view of the Hulla Valley, Golan Winery.

Tzefat & the Golan HeightsA Day of Jewish Mysticism in the Galilee

Tour is guided in English

Additional LanguagesSpanish Not available

French Not availableGerman Not available

Included pick up / drop off major hotels, tourism licensed vehicle, licensed guide, entry fees.

Not included Lunch, drinks, tips, extras & personal expenses.

Discount Deal

Book 3 Israel Daily ToursGet 5% off

Rates Valid till Feb. 28th 2018

Time

Economy

Business*

07:20

$181

N/A

06:00

$196

N/A

07:00

$181

N/A

Child age 5-12 years 10% discount Child under 5 years cannot join the tour

Travel from Tel Aviv* north along the coastal road, then east to Safed. Known in Hebrew as Tzefat, it is one the four Jewish Holy Cities & a world know Kabbalah Center. Visit the Ari Hakadosh Synagogue, where the “Shulchan Aruch” was compiled by Joseph Karo, stroll through the local Artists’ Quarter and tour the Visitors Center.

From Safed travel east, across the Upper Jordan River and ascend the Golan Heights. The Golan plateau is bordered by Israel, Lebanon, Jordan & mostly with Syria. Visit Gadot Observation Point, located over an abandoned Syrian trench. Hear the stories of the Golan battles& enjoy a panoramic view of the Hulla Valley. Time permitting visit a Golan Winery.

Estimated return: in JLM ~19:00 pm / in TLV ~18:30 pm

* For those coming from Jerusalem: Pick up & transfer to Tel Aviv, to wait ina hotel’slobby, whilepick up round takes place. Thank you for your patience.

Bring alongHat, water, comfortable walking shoes & snacks for the way (Nov. to Mar. warm clothes)

Remarks Pick up from major hotels in Tel Aviv & Jerusalem Optional pick up in TLV & drop off in JLM or v.s. Lunch is not included(Break provided to purchaselunch)

Modest dress code (covered shoulders & knees)

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Tzfat (Safed) & Golan Heights Day Tour – Tour Plan Israel

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Golan Heights – Wikitravel

Golan Heights

The Golan Heights is a rocky plateau at the southern end of the Anti-Lebanon Mountains, and straddles the borders of Syria and Israel. Israel currently occupies about two-thirds of the territory, which it seized in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed in 1981, while Syria holds the remaining one-third.

All products offered to the guests are handmade and the owners are those hosting the visitors.

Two-thirds of the Golan Heights has been under Israeli occupation since 1967, when Israel seized the area during the Six-Day War. The remainder is under Syrian control. Following the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel returned another 5% of the land to Syria. Israel subsequently began building settlements in the area, and granted the Syrian Druze inhabitants permanent residency status. In 1981, Israel annexed the Golan Heights.

The Israel-Syria border runs through the Golan Heights along an area known as the Purple Line. This line is patrolled by a United Nations peacekeeping force. No one is allowed to cross the border without special permission, though there is a UN-operated border crossing.

Hebrew is spoken among the Jewish inhabitants in the towns and kibbutzim. Arabic is also spoken in the region mainly by the Arabs and Druze living there, although many of them can also speak Hebrew and or English.

Public transport: there are a few daily buses from Tiberias, Hatzor and Kiryat Shmona to the Golan Hights. Services are few and far between due to the low population. Golanbus operates public transport from/to the Golan Heights, available only in hebrew though[3].

Private transportation: From route 90, there are four road “ascents” to the Golan Heights.

Hitchhiking is more accepted here than elsewhere in Israel, but you can still wait a long time to get to many destinations.

This area, due to low population, has one of the worst public transport services in the entire country, with some bus stops receiving as few as two or three buses daily.

You might try hitch-hiking, but it’s not recommended, either here or anywhere in the country. You can rent a car as well, but only from few rental services.

The Golan is mostly a rural area, and as such it is pretty much crime free. However, the Golan is also one of the world’s largest military barriers, and while it offers many hiking options, several basic safety rules should always be followed:

The golden rule is: Take as many words of advice as possible regarding safety from any local guidebook or people. If in doubt, keep safe!

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Golan Heights – Wikitravel

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Abbas’ Fatah Movement Distributes High School Planners Bearing Images of Worst Terrorists In Israel’s History

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JERUSALEM – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party recently distributed high school planners to Palestinian youth featuring the arch terrorists behind the Black September terror group responsible for the Munich massacre.

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Abbas’ Fatah Movement Distributes High School Planners Bearing Images of Worst Terrorists In Israel’s History

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October 7, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Dina Powell Spoke at Gala that Honored Palestinian Extremist, Conspiracy Theorist

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NEW YORK — Dina Habib Powell, the Trump administration’s Deputy National Security Advisor, was a featured speaker at the gala dinner of a George Soros-financed group that honored a notoriously anti-Israel Palestinian legislator.

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September 29, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Hezbollah using combat drones against Daesh terrorists in Syria – Press TV

This video grab shows munitions being dropped from a drone at suspected Daesh positions in Syrias Qalamoun region near the border with Lebanon on August 21, 2017.

The Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement says it has usedweaponized unmanned aerial vehicles to strike the positions of the Daesh Takfiri terrorists in thestrategic and mountainous region of Qalamoun close to the border with Lebanon.

Hezbollahs media bureau announced in a statement on Monday that it had deployed the drones to hit Daesh positions, bunkers and fortifications in the area, located about 330kilometers(205 miles) north of the Syrian capital Damascus.

Video footage released by the media unit, seemingly taken from a drone, showed two types of missiles, one of them with a tail fin, cruising towards the ground and subsequent explosions as they struck the designated targets.

Earlier on Monday, Hezbollahs media bureau reported that the Lebanese resistance fighters and Syrian government forces hadwrested complete control over Shoubat al-Dowab and Shoubat Beit Shuker heights in the western outskirts of Qalamoun.

It added that Hezbollah fighters and Syrian army soldiers werein control of the strategic Qornat Shoubat Aakko district near al-Jarajirvillage in Syrias southwestern province of Rif Dimashq.

On Saturday, Hezbollah and the Syrian army launched an operation to purge Qalamoun from Daesh terrorists.

Hezbollah launched a major push on July 21 to clear both sides of Lebanon’s border with Syria ofarmed terrorists.

In August 2014, the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and Daesh terrorist groups overran Arsal, killing a number of Lebanese forces. They took 30 soldiers hostage, most of whom have been released.

Since then, Hezbollah andthe Lebanese military have been defending Lebanon on the countrys northeastern frontier against foreign-backed terrorist groups from neighboring Syria.

Hezbollah fighters have fended off several Daesh attacks inside Lebanon. They have also been providing assistance to Syrian army forces to counter the ongoing foreign-sponsored militancy.

The movement has accused Israel of supporting Takfiri terrorists operating in the Middle East.

Israel, which continues to occupy Lebanons Shebaa Farms and Syrias Golan Heights, is widely reported to be offering medical help to Takfiri terrorists injured in Syria. In December 2015, British newspaper theDaily Mailsaid Israel had saved the lives of more than 2,000 Takfiri militants since 2013.

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Hezbollah using combat drones against Daesh terrorists in Syria – Press TV

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Family marks 20 years to disappearance of IDF soldier Guy Hever – Ynetnews

The family of missing IDF soldierGuy Hevermarked 20 years to his disappearance on Thursday, with his mother telling Ynet she has “no doubt he’s still alive.”

Hever, a soldier in the Artillery Corps, left his army base in the Golan Heights on the morning of August 17, 1997, carrying his weapon. He has since disappeared without a trace, despite extensive search efforts throughout the years.

Guy Hever (Photo: Shaul Golan)

Criticizing the Israeli government for not doing all it can to find her son, Rina argued that “There’s no such thing as the prime minister wanting to get information and not getting it. If he threw all of his weight behind the efforts to get information about Guy, he’d get it. It’s a matter of deciding to do so. We have no doubt about it.”

Rina Hever (Photo: Raanan Ben-Zur)

She lamented the fact that “the truly serious search efforts began so many years after he disappeared that the belief was established among the public, and as a result in the media as well, that Guy ran off, killed himself, or was hidingall sorts of strange theories.”

The Prime Minister’s Office offered the following response, “The mission to learn of the fate of missing IDF soldiers Guy Hever and return him home continues at all times. The search is conducted by security forces, the Foreign Ministry and the Israel Police.

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s representative on the matter of captives and missing persons has been coordinating all of the activities on the matter and maintains contact with the family.

Searches for Guy Hever (Photo: Avihu Shapira)

“This activity will continue at all times until this important mission is completed.”

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Family marks 20 years to disappearance of IDF soldier Guy Hever – Ynetnews

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What happened to Guy Hever? – Arutz Sheva

America has Amelia Earnhart. Israel, unfortunately, has Guy Hever.

The IDF soldier vanished from his Golan Heights base on August 17, 1997 and has not been seen since. His disappearance is considered unprecedented in the IDF’s history. No other soldier has vanished during a period of such relative calm. Many minds have dedicated themselves to solving the mystery, with theories ranging from him having run away to the soldier being abducted by the Syrians.

Hever, from Nahariya, was last seen on his base in IDF fatigues and carrying his Galil rifle. He had been confined to his base against his will, and friends in his artillery unit say that he seemed troubled. Since then, there has been no trace of Hever.

One theory says that he went to spend some time alone, and became trapped in one of many caves that exist in the Golan Heights. They point to his friends’ testimony that he seemed troubled, and wonder why the IDF has never found anything that would point to his fate.

Hever’s mother has been waging a long campaign trying to convince the public that Hever was kidnapped by the Syrians. Israel only recognized him as an MIA 3 years later, in 2000. “The fact that he was never found means that he’s not here. He’s in Syria” she told Channel 2.

“Guy is alive, in Syria, and will return one day. I live for that moment, and I am angry over my inability to shout more than I have about this, burn tires, set the streets on fire, and chain myself to a post outside the Knesset.”

A German woman, Miriam Koinike, told Israeli police in 2010 that she met with Hever in a Syrian prison when she was confined there for 12 days in 2005. Her story has been backed up by former German Intelligence Chief Ernst Uhrlau and Dr Mordechai Kedar, an Arutz Sheva colunist and Middle East expert, who then headed the Syrian desk in IDF Military Intelligence.

Koinike, a researcher of Judaism by profession, had visited several Muslim countries in recent years, among them Iran and Syria. Seven years ago, during a visit to the Syrian city of Aleppo, she was arrested by Syrian intelligence and taken for questioning in Damascus. Koinike claimed that the translator during the interrogation was none other than Hever.

She was later released and returned to Germany, where she was questioned by German intelligence. Channel 2 showed footage of a meeting a few months ago between Koinike and Hevers mother, Rina, in which Koinike is seen saying, His face was very narrow. The color of his skin was brown. He was shy.

She insisted that the man before her was indeed the missing soldier, in part because he spoke Hebrew.

He did not speak one word in Arabic, Koinike said. There were three people in the room: one writing the protocol, one who translated and one asking the questions.

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What happened to Guy Hever? – Arutz Sheva

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What Does Israel Want From the Civil War in Syria? – Newsweek

For the past six years David Spelman has had a front row seat at the bloody and protracted spectacle that isSyriascivil war. His home in the Golan Heights is just two miles from the Syrian town of Quneitra, across Israels heavily-fortified border. It is, he says, like being in the eye of the storm.

Spelman has lived in the Ein Zivan Kibbutz since the end of the 1967 Six Day War, during which Israel seized the Golan from Syria. Since Syrias Arab Spring-inspired revolution began its descent into war in 2012, Israelis have watched rebel fighters being transported to and from the frontlinein pickup trucks.

Read More:Israel Tried to Derail Syria Ceasefire at Secret Meetings With U.S. And Russia Over Iran

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Spellman has seen Quneitra descend from a relatively prosperous if rugged frontier town to a battered shell sat amidst a devastated no mans land.

You have the Syrian army taking over a village, then a week later you will have another faction take it back. You can literally see people killing one another on a day-to-day basis, Spelman tells Newsweek.

Up in the hills of the Golan, Spelman may be on the edge of the front linehe recounts how, in 2015, stray shells landed near the kibbutz and one tank round hit a winerybut for a man who was evacuated from the area during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the danger still feels remote.

It is tragic to know and to hear and to see, he says, but it is the fringes of slaughter.

But while the 104 families that make up the Ein Zivan settlement have observed the Syria conflict quietly over the past six years, Israel has not stood idly by, interveningsporadicallybut forcefullyto prevent the 21st Centurys deadliest conflict from spreading over its borders.

In June 2017, Israel targeted Syrian military positions with air strikes in Quneitra after ten tank shells from inside Syria hit the Golan Heights. Israel described the overspill, which occurred in clashes between militant rebel groupal-Nusraand the Syrian regime’s military as an unacceptable breach of sovereignty.

Officials in the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accused Israel of aiding jihadists with its strikes.

As an Iranian ally and an enabler of Shiite militant group Hezbollah long before the civil war, Assad has never been a friend of Israelbut neither are the various Sunni militias that rose against him, even the most moderate of which have radical anti-Zionist agendas. As such, the Israeli policy towards the war has been primarily about containment, and particularly geared towardsHezbollah.

An Israeli soldier stands on top of a Merkava tank stationed in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on July 16, 2013 , after mortar fire from inside war-torn Syria exploded in northern Golan. JACK GUEZ/AFP

On April 24, the Israeli military struck a Hezbollah weapons cache in Damascus. It was the latest in a series of more audacious attacks to contain the war. One month earlier Israeli jets carried out airstrikes deep in Syrian airspace in Palmyra. Officials in Tel Aviv said theytargeted advanced weapons systems bound for Hezbollah.

Major General Yaakov Amidror, former national security adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu from 2011-13 tells Newsweek thattwo decisions were made in the corridors of power in Tel Aviv from the earliest days of the war: firstly, that Israel had nothing to gain from direct intervention in a bitter sectarian conflict, and secondly that Hezbollah could not be allowed to use the war to strengthen its hand for any future engagement with Israel.

Amidror says that the response in the Israeli Prime Ministers office was more prescient than perhaps in other world capitals. The prime minister clearly understood…that it was going to be long and bloody.

If one common cause could unite most, if not all, of the militias and armies fighting the warit would be a commitment to the eventual destruction of Israel. After six years of brutal fighting, Newsweek examines the possible outcomes of the conflict in Syria and how Israel might deal with those situations when Syrias combatants stop pointing their guns at each other.

Bashar al-Assad takes power after the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) is crushed. He concedes Kurdish areas to the Kurds and makes small concessions to the Sunnis. Hezbollah, triumphant, holds parades in southern Lebanon and Hasan Nasrallah begins fiery speeches calling for a new war with the old enemy, Israel. In Tel Aviv, Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet prepare for war.

Israel faces its worst possible outcome from the war with a stronger and emboldened Hezbollahspoiling for a fight,backed byTehranand a newly victoriousAssad.

The main mission that we have today is to make sure that the Syrian side of the Golan stays under our control and no one uses it as a platform to attack us, Brigadier General Nitzan Nurieltells Newsweek.

A former deputy commander responsible for the Lebanese front during the 2006 war, he says theIsraeli military successfully prevented attempts by Hezbollah and other Iran-backed forces in the past, as it looks to do in the future.

A man takes a photo of his friend in front of a poster of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad at Umayyad Square in Damascus May 16, 2014 REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

The long term is no better for Israel. Increased Iranian influence in neighboring Iraq combined with a strengthened Hezbollah in Lebanon could create a corridor of influence stretching from Tehran to Aleppo and then on to Damascus and Beirut.

Amidror says the outcome, which he describes as very likely, would lead to a huge change in the geostrategic and political landscape of the Middle East. One of the principal shifts Amidror envisages in response to Iranian expansion will be a closer relationship between Sunni Arab states and Israel, to counter the threat.

Pressured by his new allies in the White House, Putin withdraws backing for Bashar al-Assad and without Russian logistics and guns, the Syrian leaders forces quickly collapse. Assad retreats to his Alawite heartlands and a coalition of Sunni militias, including al-Qaeda, take power in Damascus.

If a victory for Assad and the Iranian proxy forces backing him looks likely, the outcome of a Syria dominated by radical Sunni rebels seems to be fading fast. But, in the summer of 2014, as ISISmilitantsraced across Syria capturing Raqqa, the prospect of a radical Sunni entity sitting on Israels doorstep was a real possibility.

ISIS and its rival Al-Qaeda in Syria have regularly threatened attacks on Israel and vowed to capture Jerusalem. Rafaello Pantucci, director of international security studies at RUSI, says while the threat Sunni militants pose to Israel isreal, Tel Aviv has not needed to intervene against ISIS or Al-Qaeda as the U.S.-led coalition has focused on this.

The Israelis aren’t really attacking them and they are attacking their enemies Hezbollah. Maybe now is not the time to pick that fight, Pantucci says.

Israel has a more pressing fight over itssouthernborderwith ISIS in the Sinai and its forerunner Ansar Bait al-Maqdis.

Pantucciis confident that Israel canmanagethe threat from Egypt.

[Israel is] very aggressive in managing itsresponse to these problems, he says. Jihadi groups are starting torealizethat Israel has a formidable military force [and a]willingness and a capacity to deploy that force.

A picture taken from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights shows smoke rising from the Syrian Druze village of Hader, on June 16, 2015. Al-Nusra Front, one of al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, are reportedly engaging offensive operations against Syrian government forces around Hader, located approximately 15 kms east of the Israeli-held Golan AFP PHOTP / JALAA MARE

Its 2022. Syrias conflict continues and the country is in ruins. The long and bitter war of attrition has proceeded at a grinding pace infavor of Assad and Hezbollah. Israel is far more cautious in its interventions after one of its jets was downed by a Russian S-400 missile system, acquired by the Shiite militia in the wars ninth year.

As peace talks in Geneva stall and Russia and Iran set up their own rival mediations in Astana, the probability of the deadly stalemate in Syria rolling on for months or even years looks set to rise.

For officials in Israel, this prospect islikely to deliver yet more bad news. In the fog of war, Iran has alreadystrengthened its proxy force Hezbollah and other Shiite militias fighting alongside the Assad regime.

The longer the war, the longer Iran is able to provide Hezbollah with greater capabilities and become more involved in the area. The longer the war, the more reliance on Iran will become crucial to the regime, Amidror explains.

As the conflict in Syria continues, so too do Israeli fearsthat a game changing piece of weaponry will fall into the hands of Hezbollah.

Six years of fighting in Syria has transformed the Shiite group from an armed militia into a full-fledged army that, if and when the war in Syria ends, will turn its guns on its old enemy.

Hezbollah militants are now battle-hardened, they have a lot of experience in fighting in Syria and even with Israeli interdiction exercises they have been able to upgrade their arsenal, Hugh Lovatt, a policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations tells Newsweek.

Exhausted by a bitter stalemate and with no clear clear victor, the combatants lay down their arms and a patchwork of Balkanized states emerges in Syria. In Tel Aviv, satisfied ministers court potential client nations rest assured that their divided neighbor will never again threaten Israel over its northeastern border.

For Lovatt, the best outcome Israel could hope for in Syria would be a peace settlement creating any number of federated or independent states divided on ethnic or religious lines.

The best case scenario in terms of what it would like to see would be a decentralized or even [a] fractured Syria where you see the emergence of a number of so-called proto-states, he says.

Members and supporters of Lebanon’s Shiite Muslim movement Hezbollah carry the coffin of Hezbollah’s militant Jalal al-Effeh, who was killed in combat alongside Syrian government forces in Syria, on October 18, 2016 during his funeral procession in a southern suburb of the capital Beirut. AFP / ANWAR AMRO

Over the last decade, Israel has consistently looked to forge ties with non-Arab Muslim entities as well as other minorities. Lovatt points to Israels cultivation of the Druze, a distinct ethnic and religious Arabic speaking group, and Christian Maronites in Lebanon as well as increasingly good relations with Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria.

General Amidror thinks Israel would be able to forge strong ties with an Alawitestate isolated from Iran. Ultimately he sees a weakened Syria as one less likely to attack Israel.

The disintegration of Syria is not the worst situation from our point of view. If the Kurds and the Sunnis and Alawites, each had their own area of control they will not be in a position to harm Israel maybe as Syria did in the past or Hezbollah and Iran might try in the future, he says.

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What Does Israel Want From the Civil War in Syria? – Newsweek

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Assad regains control as Syrian rebels abandon area bordering …

Dozens of Syrian rebels and their families departed aboard buses from an area besieged by government forces bordering the Israeli Golan Heights early Saturday in part of a deal to clear yet another district of anti-regime insurgents. The Beit Jinn area was the last significant rebel-held enclave southwest of Damascus. Its surrender allowed President Bashar Assad to reassert control over the Syrian Golan. Get The Times of Israel’s Daily Edition by email and never miss our top storiesFree Sign Up The government-controlled Syrian Central Military Media said 153 people, including 106 fighters, left the village of Beit Jinn early Saturday toward the southern province of Daraa. The Ibaa news agency of the al-Qaida-linked Levant Liberation Committee said six buses carrying fighters and their families arrived in rebel-held parts of Daraa province. On Friday, Syrias state news agency SANA said some 300 al-Qaeda-linked militants and their families would be sent to Daraa and the northwestern province of Idlib. Syrian President Bashar Assad speaks at the presidential palace in Damascus, Syria, Sept. 21, 2016 (Syrian Presidency via AP) The evacuation allows the government to reassert control over Beit Jinn near the Golan Heights, captured by Israel from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War. On Tuesday Reuters had reported that the besieged rebels had been ordered by surrounding regime forces to surrender or face defeat. They were given 72 hours to surrender with fighters to go to [rebel-held] Idlib or those who want to stay have to reach a settlement, said a Free Syrian Arm official said. Rebels situated in Beit Jinn faced Syrian military forces as well as Iranian-backed militias and the Hezbollah terrorist group. Fierce fighting had been reported in the area in recent days as the forces backing President Bashar Assad advanced on the rebels. In this photo released on Friday, Dec. 29, 2017 by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian government forces stand on their checkpoint as busses, background, wait to evacuate Syrian rebels and their families from Beit Jinn village, in the southern province of Daraa, Syria. (SANA via AP) Israel has publicly warned against the accumulation of Iranian and Iranian-backed forces at its border. Iran has arranged for thousands of militiamen from across the region to fight on behalf of Assads government and has sent top commanders to direct its own Revolutionary Guards in the country as well.

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Tzfat (Safed) & Golan Heights Day Tour – Tour Plan Israel

Tour HighlightsSafed (in Hebrew Tzefat),Kabbalah Center,Ari Hakadosh Synagogue,Artists’ Quarter,Golan Heights,Syrian bunkers,panoramic view of the Hulla Valley, Golan Winery. Tzefat & the Golan HeightsA Day of Jewish Mysticism in the Galilee Tour is guided in English Additional LanguagesSpanish Not available French Not availableGerman Not available Included pick up / drop off major hotels, tourism licensed vehicle, licensed guide, entry fees. Not included Lunch, drinks, tips, extras & personal expenses. Discount Deal Book 3 Israel Daily ToursGet 5% off Rates Valid till Feb. 28th 2018 Time Economy Business* 07:20 $181 N/A 06:00 $196 N/A 07:00 $181 N/A Child age 5-12 years 10% discount Child under 5 years cannot join the tour Travel from Tel Aviv* north along the coastal road, then east to Safed. Known in Hebrew as Tzefat, it is one the four Jewish Holy Cities & a world know Kabbalah Center. Visit the Ari Hakadosh Synagogue, where the “Shulchan Aruch” was compiled by Joseph Karo, stroll through the local Artists’ Quarter and tour the Visitors Center. From Safed travel east, across the Upper Jordan River and ascend the Golan Heights. The Golan plateau is bordered by Israel, Lebanon, Jordan & mostly with Syria. Visit Gadot Observation Point, located over an abandoned Syrian trench. Hear the stories of the Golan battles& enjoy a panoramic view of the Hulla Valley. Time permitting visit a Golan Winery. Estimated return: in JLM ~19:00 pm / in TLV ~18:30 pm * For those coming from Jerusalem: Pick up & transfer to Tel Aviv, to wait ina hotel’slobby, whilepick up round takes place. Thank you for your patience. Bring alongHat, water, comfortable walking shoes & snacks for the way (Nov. to Mar. warm clothes) Remarks Pick up from major hotels in Tel Aviv & Jerusalem Optional pick up in TLV & drop off in JLM or v.s. Lunch is not included(Break provided to purchaselunch) Modest dress code (covered shoulders & knees)

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Golan Heights – Wikitravel

Golan Heights The Golan Heights is a rocky plateau at the southern end of the Anti-Lebanon Mountains, and straddles the borders of Syria and Israel. Israel currently occupies about two-thirds of the territory, which it seized in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed in 1981, while Syria holds the remaining one-third. All products offered to the guests are handmade and the owners are those hosting the visitors. Two-thirds of the Golan Heights has been under Israeli occupation since 1967, when Israel seized the area during the Six-Day War. The remainder is under Syrian control. Following the 1973 Yom Kippur War, Israel returned another 5% of the land to Syria. Israel subsequently began building settlements in the area, and granted the Syrian Druze inhabitants permanent residency status. In 1981, Israel annexed the Golan Heights. The Israel-Syria border runs through the Golan Heights along an area known as the Purple Line. This line is patrolled by a United Nations peacekeeping force. No one is allowed to cross the border without special permission, though there is a UN-operated border crossing. Hebrew is spoken among the Jewish inhabitants in the towns and kibbutzim. Arabic is also spoken in the region mainly by the Arabs and Druze living there, although many of them can also speak Hebrew and or English. Public transport: there are a few daily buses from Tiberias, Hatzor and Kiryat Shmona to the Golan Hights. Services are few and far between due to the low population. Golanbus operates public transport from/to the Golan Heights, available only in hebrew though[3]. Private transportation: From route 90, there are four road “ascents” to the Golan Heights. Hitchhiking is more accepted here than elsewhere in Israel, but you can still wait a long time to get to many destinations. This area, due to low population, has one of the worst public transport services in the entire country, with some bus stops receiving as few as two or three buses daily. You might try hitch-hiking, but it’s not recommended, either here or anywhere in the country. You can rent a car as well, but only from few rental services. The Golan is mostly a rural area, and as such it is pretty much crime free. However, the Golan is also one of the world’s largest military barriers, and while it offers many hiking options, several basic safety rules should always be followed: The golden rule is: Take as many words of advice as possible regarding safety from any local guidebook or people. If in doubt, keep safe!

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November 19, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Abbas’ Fatah Movement Distributes High School Planners Bearing Images of Worst Terrorists In Israel’s History

JERUSALEM – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party recently distributed high school planners to Palestinian youth featuring the arch terrorists behind the Black September terror group responsible for the Munich massacre.

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October 7, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Dina Powell Spoke at Gala that Honored Palestinian Extremist, Conspiracy Theorist

NEW YORK — Dina Habib Powell, the Trump administration’s Deputy National Security Advisor, was a featured speaker at the gala dinner of a George Soros-financed group that honored a notoriously anti-Israel Palestinian legislator.

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September 29, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Hezbollah using combat drones against Daesh terrorists in Syria – Press TV

This video grab shows munitions being dropped from a drone at suspected Daesh positions in Syrias Qalamoun region near the border with Lebanon on August 21, 2017. The Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement says it has usedweaponized unmanned aerial vehicles to strike the positions of the Daesh Takfiri terrorists in thestrategic and mountainous region of Qalamoun close to the border with Lebanon. Hezbollahs media bureau announced in a statement on Monday that it had deployed the drones to hit Daesh positions, bunkers and fortifications in the area, located about 330kilometers(205 miles) north of the Syrian capital Damascus. Video footage released by the media unit, seemingly taken from a drone, showed two types of missiles, one of them with a tail fin, cruising towards the ground and subsequent explosions as they struck the designated targets. Earlier on Monday, Hezbollahs media bureau reported that the Lebanese resistance fighters and Syrian government forces hadwrested complete control over Shoubat al-Dowab and Shoubat Beit Shuker heights in the western outskirts of Qalamoun. It added that Hezbollah fighters and Syrian army soldiers werein control of the strategic Qornat Shoubat Aakko district near al-Jarajirvillage in Syrias southwestern province of Rif Dimashq. On Saturday, Hezbollah and the Syrian army launched an operation to purge Qalamoun from Daesh terrorists. Hezbollah launched a major push on July 21 to clear both sides of Lebanon’s border with Syria ofarmed terrorists. In August 2014, the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and Daesh terrorist groups overran Arsal, killing a number of Lebanese forces. They took 30 soldiers hostage, most of whom have been released. Since then, Hezbollah andthe Lebanese military have been defending Lebanon on the countrys northeastern frontier against foreign-backed terrorist groups from neighboring Syria. Hezbollah fighters have fended off several Daesh attacks inside Lebanon. They have also been providing assistance to Syrian army forces to counter the ongoing foreign-sponsored militancy. The movement has accused Israel of supporting Takfiri terrorists operating in the Middle East. Israel, which continues to occupy Lebanons Shebaa Farms and Syrias Golan Heights, is widely reported to be offering medical help to Takfiri terrorists injured in Syria. In December 2015, British newspaper theDaily Mailsaid Israel had saved the lives of more than 2,000 Takfiri militants since 2013.

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August 22, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

Family marks 20 years to disappearance of IDF soldier Guy Hever – Ynetnews

The family of missing IDF soldierGuy Hevermarked 20 years to his disappearance on Thursday, with his mother telling Ynet she has “no doubt he’s still alive.” Hever, a soldier in the Artillery Corps, left his army base in the Golan Heights on the morning of August 17, 1997, carrying his weapon. He has since disappeared without a trace, despite extensive search efforts throughout the years. Guy Hever (Photo: Shaul Golan) Criticizing the Israeli government for not doing all it can to find her son, Rina argued that “There’s no such thing as the prime minister wanting to get information and not getting it. If he threw all of his weight behind the efforts to get information about Guy, he’d get it. It’s a matter of deciding to do so. We have no doubt about it.” Rina Hever (Photo: Raanan Ben-Zur) She lamented the fact that “the truly serious search efforts began so many years after he disappeared that the belief was established among the public, and as a result in the media as well, that Guy ran off, killed himself, or was hidingall sorts of strange theories.” The Prime Minister’s Office offered the following response, “The mission to learn of the fate of missing IDF soldiers Guy Hever and return him home continues at all times. The search is conducted by security forces, the Foreign Ministry and the Israel Police. “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s representative on the matter of captives and missing persons has been coordinating all of the activities on the matter and maintains contact with the family. Searches for Guy Hever (Photo: Avihu Shapira) “This activity will continue at all times until this important mission is completed.”

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August 17, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

What happened to Guy Hever? – Arutz Sheva

America has Amelia Earnhart. Israel, unfortunately, has Guy Hever. The IDF soldier vanished from his Golan Heights base on August 17, 1997 and has not been seen since. His disappearance is considered unprecedented in the IDF’s history. No other soldier has vanished during a period of such relative calm. Many minds have dedicated themselves to solving the mystery, with theories ranging from him having run away to the soldier being abducted by the Syrians. Hever, from Nahariya, was last seen on his base in IDF fatigues and carrying his Galil rifle. He had been confined to his base against his will, and friends in his artillery unit say that he seemed troubled. Since then, there has been no trace of Hever. One theory says that he went to spend some time alone, and became trapped in one of many caves that exist in the Golan Heights. They point to his friends’ testimony that he seemed troubled, and wonder why the IDF has never found anything that would point to his fate. Hever’s mother has been waging a long campaign trying to convince the public that Hever was kidnapped by the Syrians. Israel only recognized him as an MIA 3 years later, in 2000. “The fact that he was never found means that he’s not here. He’s in Syria” she told Channel 2. “Guy is alive, in Syria, and will return one day. I live for that moment, and I am angry over my inability to shout more than I have about this, burn tires, set the streets on fire, and chain myself to a post outside the Knesset.” A German woman, Miriam Koinike, told Israeli police in 2010 that she met with Hever in a Syrian prison when she was confined there for 12 days in 2005. Her story has been backed up by former German Intelligence Chief Ernst Uhrlau and Dr Mordechai Kedar, an Arutz Sheva colunist and Middle East expert, who then headed the Syrian desk in IDF Military Intelligence. Koinike, a researcher of Judaism by profession, had visited several Muslim countries in recent years, among them Iran and Syria. Seven years ago, during a visit to the Syrian city of Aleppo, she was arrested by Syrian intelligence and taken for questioning in Damascus. Koinike claimed that the translator during the interrogation was none other than Hever. She was later released and returned to Germany, where she was questioned by German intelligence. Channel 2 showed footage of a meeting a few months ago between Koinike and Hevers mother, Rina, in which Koinike is seen saying, His face was very narrow. The color of his skin was brown. He was shy. She insisted that the man before her was indeed the missing soldier, in part because he spoke Hebrew. He did not speak one word in Arabic, Koinike said. There were three people in the room: one writing the protocol, one who translated and one asking the questions.

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August 17, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed

What Does Israel Want From the Civil War in Syria? – Newsweek

For the past six years David Spelman has had a front row seat at the bloody and protracted spectacle that isSyriascivil war. His home in the Golan Heights is just two miles from the Syrian town of Quneitra, across Israels heavily-fortified border. It is, he says, like being in the eye of the storm. Spelman has lived in the Ein Zivan Kibbutz since the end of the 1967 Six Day War, during which Israel seized the Golan from Syria. Since Syrias Arab Spring-inspired revolution began its descent into war in 2012, Israelis have watched rebel fighters being transported to and from the frontlinein pickup trucks. Read More:Israel Tried to Derail Syria Ceasefire at Secret Meetings With U.S. And Russia Over Iran Daily Emails and Alerts – Get the best of Newsweek delivered to your inbox Spellman has seen Quneitra descend from a relatively prosperous if rugged frontier town to a battered shell sat amidst a devastated no mans land. You have the Syrian army taking over a village, then a week later you will have another faction take it back. You can literally see people killing one another on a day-to-day basis, Spelman tells Newsweek. Up in the hills of the Golan, Spelman may be on the edge of the front linehe recounts how, in 2015, stray shells landed near the kibbutz and one tank round hit a winerybut for a man who was evacuated from the area during the 1973 Yom Kippur War, the danger still feels remote. It is tragic to know and to hear and to see, he says, but it is the fringes of slaughter. But while the 104 families that make up the Ein Zivan settlement have observed the Syria conflict quietly over the past six years, Israel has not stood idly by, interveningsporadicallybut forcefullyto prevent the 21st Centurys deadliest conflict from spreading over its borders. In June 2017, Israel targeted Syrian military positions with air strikes in Quneitra after ten tank shells from inside Syria hit the Golan Heights. Israel described the overspill, which occurred in clashes between militant rebel groupal-Nusraand the Syrian regime’s military as an unacceptable breach of sovereignty. Officials in the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accused Israel of aiding jihadists with its strikes. As an Iranian ally and an enabler of Shiite militant group Hezbollah long before the civil war, Assad has never been a friend of Israelbut neither are the various Sunni militias that rose against him, even the most moderate of which have radical anti-Zionist agendas. As such, the Israeli policy towards the war has been primarily about containment, and particularly geared towardsHezbollah. An Israeli soldier stands on top of a Merkava tank stationed in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on July 16, 2013 , after mortar fire from inside war-torn Syria exploded in northern Golan. JACK GUEZ/AFP On April 24, the Israeli military struck a Hezbollah weapons cache in Damascus. It was the latest in a series of more audacious attacks to contain the war. One month earlier Israeli jets carried out airstrikes deep in Syrian airspace in Palmyra. Officials in Tel Aviv said theytargeted advanced weapons systems bound for Hezbollah. Major General Yaakov Amidror, former national security adviser to Benjamin Netanyahu from 2011-13 tells Newsweek thattwo decisions were made in the corridors of power in Tel Aviv from the earliest days of the war: firstly, that Israel had nothing to gain from direct intervention in a bitter sectarian conflict, and secondly that Hezbollah could not be allowed to use the war to strengthen its hand for any future engagement with Israel. Amidror says that the response in the Israeli Prime Ministers office was more prescient than perhaps in other world capitals. The prime minister clearly understood…that it was going to be long and bloody. If one common cause could unite most, if not all, of the militias and armies fighting the warit would be a commitment to the eventual destruction of Israel. After six years of brutal fighting, Newsweek examines the possible outcomes of the conflict in Syria and how Israel might deal with those situations when Syrias combatants stop pointing their guns at each other. Bashar al-Assad takes power after the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) is crushed. He concedes Kurdish areas to the Kurds and makes small concessions to the Sunnis. Hezbollah, triumphant, holds parades in southern Lebanon and Hasan Nasrallah begins fiery speeches calling for a new war with the old enemy, Israel. In Tel Aviv, Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet prepare for war. Israel faces its worst possible outcome from the war with a stronger and emboldened Hezbollahspoiling for a fight,backed byTehranand a newly victoriousAssad. The main mission that we have today is to make sure that the Syrian side of the Golan stays under our control and no one uses it as a platform to attack us, Brigadier General Nitzan Nurieltells Newsweek. A former deputy commander responsible for the Lebanese front during the 2006 war, he says theIsraeli military successfully prevented attempts by Hezbollah and other Iran-backed forces in the past, as it looks to do in the future. A man takes a photo of his friend in front of a poster of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad at Umayyad Square in Damascus May 16, 2014 REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri The long term is no better for Israel. Increased Iranian influence in neighboring Iraq combined with a strengthened Hezbollah in Lebanon could create a corridor of influence stretching from Tehran to Aleppo and then on to Damascus and Beirut. Amidror says the outcome, which he describes as very likely, would lead to a huge change in the geostrategic and political landscape of the Middle East. One of the principal shifts Amidror envisages in response to Iranian expansion will be a closer relationship between Sunni Arab states and Israel, to counter the threat. Pressured by his new allies in the White House, Putin withdraws backing for Bashar al-Assad and without Russian logistics and guns, the Syrian leaders forces quickly collapse. Assad retreats to his Alawite heartlands and a coalition of Sunni militias, including al-Qaeda, take power in Damascus. If a victory for Assad and the Iranian proxy forces backing him looks likely, the outcome of a Syria dominated by radical Sunni rebels seems to be fading fast. But, in the summer of 2014, as ISISmilitantsraced across Syria capturing Raqqa, the prospect of a radical Sunni entity sitting on Israels doorstep was a real possibility. ISIS and its rival Al-Qaeda in Syria have regularly threatened attacks on Israel and vowed to capture Jerusalem. Rafaello Pantucci, director of international security studies at RUSI, says while the threat Sunni militants pose to Israel isreal, Tel Aviv has not needed to intervene against ISIS or Al-Qaeda as the U.S.-led coalition has focused on this. The Israelis aren’t really attacking them and they are attacking their enemies Hezbollah. Maybe now is not the time to pick that fight, Pantucci says. Israel has a more pressing fight over itssouthernborderwith ISIS in the Sinai and its forerunner Ansar Bait al-Maqdis. Pantucciis confident that Israel canmanagethe threat from Egypt. [Israel is] very aggressive in managing itsresponse to these problems, he says. Jihadi groups are starting torealizethat Israel has a formidable military force [and a]willingness and a capacity to deploy that force. A picture taken from the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights shows smoke rising from the Syrian Druze village of Hader, on June 16, 2015. Al-Nusra Front, one of al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, are reportedly engaging offensive operations against Syrian government forces around Hader, located approximately 15 kms east of the Israeli-held Golan AFP PHOTP / JALAA MARE Its 2022. Syrias conflict continues and the country is in ruins. The long and bitter war of attrition has proceeded at a grinding pace infavor of Assad and Hezbollah. Israel is far more cautious in its interventions after one of its jets was downed by a Russian S-400 missile system, acquired by the Shiite militia in the wars ninth year. As peace talks in Geneva stall and Russia and Iran set up their own rival mediations in Astana, the probability of the deadly stalemate in Syria rolling on for months or even years looks set to rise. For officials in Israel, this prospect islikely to deliver yet more bad news. In the fog of war, Iran has alreadystrengthened its proxy force Hezbollah and other Shiite militias fighting alongside the Assad regime. The longer the war, the longer Iran is able to provide Hezbollah with greater capabilities and become more involved in the area. The longer the war, the more reliance on Iran will become crucial to the regime, Amidror explains. As the conflict in Syria continues, so too do Israeli fearsthat a game changing piece of weaponry will fall into the hands of Hezbollah. Six years of fighting in Syria has transformed the Shiite group from an armed militia into a full-fledged army that, if and when the war in Syria ends, will turn its guns on its old enemy. Hezbollah militants are now battle-hardened, they have a lot of experience in fighting in Syria and even with Israeli interdiction exercises they have been able to upgrade their arsenal, Hugh Lovatt, a policy fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations tells Newsweek. Exhausted by a bitter stalemate and with no clear clear victor, the combatants lay down their arms and a patchwork of Balkanized states emerges in Syria. In Tel Aviv, satisfied ministers court potential client nations rest assured that their divided neighbor will never again threaten Israel over its northeastern border. For Lovatt, the best outcome Israel could hope for in Syria would be a peace settlement creating any number of federated or independent states divided on ethnic or religious lines. The best case scenario in terms of what it would like to see would be a decentralized or even [a] fractured Syria where you see the emergence of a number of so-called proto-states, he says. Members and supporters of Lebanon’s Shiite Muslim movement Hezbollah carry the coffin of Hezbollah’s militant Jalal al-Effeh, who was killed in combat alongside Syrian government forces in Syria, on October 18, 2016 during his funeral procession in a southern suburb of the capital Beirut. AFP / ANWAR AMRO Over the last decade, Israel has consistently looked to forge ties with non-Arab Muslim entities as well as other minorities. Lovatt points to Israels cultivation of the Druze, a distinct ethnic and religious Arabic speaking group, and Christian Maronites in Lebanon as well as increasingly good relations with Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria. General Amidror thinks Israel would be able to forge strong ties with an Alawitestate isolated from Iran. Ultimately he sees a weakened Syria as one less likely to attack Israel. The disintegration of Syria is not the worst situation from our point of view. If the Kurds and the Sunnis and Alawites, each had their own area of control they will not be in a position to harm Israel maybe as Syria did in the past or Hezbollah and Iran might try in the future, he says.

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August 17, 2017   Posted in: Golan Heights  Comments Closed


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