Israeli Lawmaker Accuses Israel of Aiding Syrian Rebel Group Formerly Known as Nusra Front

MK Akram Hasoon says the group formerly known as Nusra Front is bombing the Syrian Druze village of Khadr with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s support and protection.

Jack Khoury
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A picture taken from the Israeli side of the Golan Heights on September 10, 2016 shows smoke rising from the Syrian village of Jubata al-Khashab.
A picture taken from the Israeli side of the Golan Heights on September 10, 2016 shows smoke rising from the Syrian village of Jubata al-Khashab.Credit: Jalaa Marey, AFP
Jack Khoury

An Israeli lawmaker is accusing Israel of directly aiding the Syrian rebel group formerly known as the Nusra Front in the battles on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights

The group has recently changed its name to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham after splitting from Al-Qaida. Israel considers it a terror group. 

In a status posted on his Facebook page on Sunday, Knesset Member Akram Hasoon (Kulanu) claimed Jabhat Fateh al-Sham is bombing the Druze village of Khadr with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s support and protection. 

Hasoon said that since the weekend, the quiet village of Khadr near the Syrian border has been subject to persistent bombardments by Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militants. “We have gotten information from all fronts and from people who are responsible within the village that the Nusra Front is operating with unprecedented support from Israel, because the organization’s fighters are advancing in those places where the Israel Defense Forces had previously bombed Syrian positions and the organization is holding those positions, in addition to the logistical and medical assistance it’s getting from Israel.”

Citing eyewitnesses, Hasoon said that the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham fighters have advanced technological equipment that gives them an advantage over Assad’s forces. “To date dozens have fallen and the fighting continues, all with Israeli support,” he wrote.

“This new strategy led by Lieberman since he took office has strengthened the Nusra Front and it’s raising its head to attack our brothers,” Hasoon wrote. 

He then issued a direct call to Lieberman. “Lieberman, stop the support of the Nusra Front immediately. It’s about time that we unite, and I call on all the MKs and the religious leadership headed by Sheikh Muwafaq Tarif to initiate an emergency meeting before our brothers in Khadr are slaughtered. There’s no time to wait.”

The Druze community, and the Israeli Arab community in general, believes that Israel is helping the Syrian rebels either directly or indirectly. Each time Israel targets Syrian territory, the Syrian regime also says that it’s more proof the Israel is helping the rebels.

A senior Israeli military source told Haaretz that the battles between rebels and the Syrian government have escalated in recent days in the area between northern Quneitra and the Hermon. However, the official added, Israel has stuck to its policy of staying out of the fighting and avoiding contact with the extremist Islamist group. 

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