On March 2nd – the day of Israel’s general election – an incident which the BBC did not find newsworthy took place in the Golan Heights.
“The Israel Defense Forces bombed a Syrian vehicle that the military said was used in an attempted sniper attack on Israeli troops near the Golan border Monday.
The skirmish took place in the Quneitra region in the demilitarized buffer zone between the countries, the latest in a series of recent cross-border clashes in the area. However, this was the first of these to be acknowledged by Israel.
“A short time ago an IDF force identified an attempt at a sniping attack in the northern Golan Heights,” the military said in a statement. “The force attacked the vehicle involved in the attempted attack.””
Two weeks on, the IDF has published the results of the investigation into that incident.
“The Israel Defense Forces on Tuesday accused the Hezbollah terror group and the Syrian army of being behind an attempted sniping attack against Israeli soldiers in the Golan Heights earlier this month, which was thwarted by an Israeli strike on the suspects’ car.
The military said that in the months preceding the incident Israeli troops saw Hezbollah fighters and Syrian soldiers preparing for an attack, filming the border area with smartphones and professional cameras and measuring wind speed from different locations in the supposedly demilitarized buffer zone between the two countries — in what the IDF said appeared to be efforts to identify a target and improve snipers’ accuracy.
The military said that on March 2 fighters were seen preparing to carry out the attack from a car.
“When there was an operational opportunity, the car being used by the cell was attacked by an IDF helicopter,” the military said.” [emphasis added]
The demilitarized zone is of course intended to be exactly that: Syrian soldiers and Hizballah militia are not supposed to be present in that area. UN forces – UNDOF – are tasked with ensuring that the terms of the 1974 cease fire agreement, under which the demilitarized zone was established, are upheld. In light of the civil war in Syria UNDOF largely abandoned that mission in September 2014 but supposedly returned to oversee the DMZ in October 2018.
Since then the BBC has failed to produce any serious reporting on the topic of Hizballah’s activities in the Syrian Golan and UNDOF’s failure to guarantee the demilitarized zone. It is hence unsurprising to see that the corporation chose to ignore this latest thwarted attack.
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