Israeli army vows to defend Druze village in Syria

Facebook pageIDF Spokesman Ronen Manelis with local Druze at the Syrian border

After Friday's auto bomb there, Syrian state television broadcast footage it said was of residents of the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights attempting to cross the border to assist people in Hader.

Almost 140,000 members of the Druze minority, which follows a secretive offshoot of Shiite Islam, live in Israel and the Israeli-occupied Golan.

Israeli media reported that Meir Ben-Shabbat, a top security official in the government, had informed Druze leaders that Israel would not allow the rebel groups to take over the village.

The assault began when a suicide auto bomb attacked the outskirts of the village, Syrian state media said.

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said the Israeli army is prepared to intervene in the Syrian war in order to prevent the takeover of the village by Assad's forces.

The Syrian state news agency Sana said the vehicle bombing was carried out by Jabhat Al Nusra, using the former name of Al Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, which it changed to Jabhat Fatah Al Sham after claiming to have severed ties with the terrorist group.

Syrian rebel groups launched an attack on Syrian government-held areas in Quneitra on Friday, with the aim of connecting two insurgent-held areas.

The agency said the toll can rise as a number of injured are in serious condition and the ongoing clashes in the town make it hard to remove the injured to safety.

An Israeli Druze lawmaker in Israel's parliament, Akram Hasson, said four of his relatives died in the attack Friday by the Fatah al-Sham Front (formerly Nusra Front), an al-Qaida-linked group fighting in Syria's civil war.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the Golan Heights from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it, a move never recognised by the global community. They are full citizens of Israel and generally serve in the army.

"This behaviour is a serious violation of the law", the Israeli army said, urging all civilians to refrain from crossing the fence or even approaching it.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometers (460 square miles) of the Golan Heights from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it, a move never recognized by the worldwide community.

Speaking on a visit to London, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said "We are also guarding our borders".

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