Israeli Soldiers Uncover Explosive Devices on Syria Border, Army Says

The explosive devices have already been defused ■ Gantz calls it 'a serious incident,' says army can 'respond severely'

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IDF soldiers on the border with Syria, August 2020
IDF soldiers on the border with Syria, August 2020Credit: Gil Eliahu
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Several explosive devices were discovered in the lower Golan Heights near the border between Israel and Syria on Tuesday, the Israeli army said.

Engineering teams neutralized the explosives shortly after they were uncovered. Some three months ago, the army thwarted an attempt to lay explosives at the same site, the army said.

The army said that they hold the Syrian regime responsible for all actions taken in its territory and will not allow for the violation of Israeli sovereignty.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited the area on Tuesday, calling this "a serious incident – this is our sovereignty." Gantz also revealed that another bomb was discovered in the Golan Heights a few hours ago, adding that he sees Syria as "responsible for what is happening on its territory," adding that "the smuggling of weapons to Hezbollah cannot continue."

Ganz also said he was "convinced of the IDF's ability to respond severely to any incident, both on the Lebanese and Syrian fronts," but declined to comment on the timing and nature of the expected response.

This comes after the IDF attacked four people trying to place explosives on the Syrian border, east of the border fence with Israel, in August. According to the army, soldiers and aircraft fired at the four perpetrators, and the IDF presumed them dead. There were no Israeli casualties in the incident. 

In recent months, Israel has also allegedly targeted pro-Iranian positions in Syria, with state-run Syrian news agency SANA reporting Israeli airstrikes in Quneitra, in the Syrian Golan Heights, in late October.  

A Syrian opposition war monitor also claimed that Israel carried out an airstrike on Iran-backed fighters in eastern Syria, killing 10 fighters, including eight Iraqis, on September 14.

Israel rarely comments on such reports, but is believed to have carried out scores of raids targeting Iran’s military presence in Syria in recent years.

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