IDF soldiers on the Syria-Israel border.
IDF soldiers on the Syria-Israel border. Photo by Yaron Kaminsky
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A Syrian citizen attempted to cross the Syria-Israel border on Saturday, and was shot by Israel Defense Forces soldiers. At 3:20 P.M., troops from Armored Battalion 46 spotted the man approaching the border fence in the southern Golan Heights, near Tel Fars.

As soldiers spotted the man holding a tool with which to cut the barbed-wire fence, they immediately began the standard IDF protocol for engaging a suspicious individual. After the suspect did not respond, the soldiers opened fire, and the suspect was hit once in the knee.

Shortly after, other Syrian citizens arrived on the scene and treated the suspect’s wound, and carried him off the scene.

According to an IDF official, there is currently no information on the Syrian citizen’s condition, and that during the ordeal, the soldiers followed the normative IDF guidelines.

Over the last few days, the number of Syrian citizens attempting to disrupt the border fence in the southern part of the Golan Heights has risen. According to IDF regulations, any attempt to disrupt security related institutions, for example the border fence, is considered a violation of border sovereignty, as is entering the buffer zone between Israel and Syria.

“Forces are in control of the area and deal with every attempt to violate sovereignty near the Israel-Syria border. The assumption is that anyone who reaches the fence and sabotages it is not peaceful. It could be someone making an opening to be used to reach an Israeli community, or it could be someone checking the vigilance of forces in the area, and gathering intelligence for a future attack,” explained an IDF officer in the sector.

The IDF labeled the incident out of the ordinary, though pointed out that recently there have been many attempts by various factions, disguised as shepherds, to sabotage the border fence.

Over the last few weeks, the IDF has begun to reinforce the fence along the Israel-Syria border fence in the Golan Heights, in light of recent developments in Syria.

Attempts to reinforce the fence include spreading additional barbed wire, as well as digging channels along the border itself.

The IDF estimates that with the ongoing conflict in Syria, there will be more attempts to cross the border with Israel, including attempts by terrorist factions looking to take advantage of the situation.

In addition, the IDF has a contingency plan in place in the event of Syrian refugees attempting to cross the border into Israel.

Read this article in Hebrew