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Israeli army vows to defend Druze village in Syria

Israeli army vows to defend Druze village in Syria

Dozens of Israeli Druze citizens on Friday broke through the border fence separating Israel from Syria in order to join the ongoing battle in Khader, a Syrian Druze village located about 3 km away from the border. Earlier on Friday a auto bomb exploded on the town's outskirts, killing nine people, according to Syrian state media, which also reported clashes in the area.

SANA further said the toll was expected to rise because a number of those wounded in the bombing were in serious condition and the ongoing assault on the town made it hard to remove the injured to safety. He also maintained that the claims of Israeli involvement and assistance to global jihad elements in the fighting on the Golan Heights are groundless.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitor, said the clashes that followed the blast killed several forces on both sides.

Around 10 of them entered the buffer zone, the Israeli army said, before forces caught them and returned them to the Israeli-occupied side. "The IDF is prepared and ready to assist the residents of the village and prevent damage to or the capture of the village Hader out of commitment to the Druze population", he added.

Hader lies in southwestern Syria's Quneitra province, around 70 per cent of which is held by either rebel or jihadist groups while the government controls the remaining 30 per cent, according to the Observatiory.

Separately, the Israeli military said on Friday it had destroyed a drone operated by the Lebanese group Hezbollah over the Golan Heights.




But the Jewish state has been careful to avoid actually being pulled into the conflagration.

But the IDF statement reflected how the Druze are valued inside Israel as brethren by many Jews because thousands of them enlist in the IDF with the blessing of their communal leaders.

It said that in addition to exchange of fire and shelling, there was a big explosion caused by the detonation of a booby-trapped vehicle by one of the rebel groups at the entrance to Hader.

Israeli forces were deployed to the area to disperse the protesters. "We do, however, provide humanitarian aid to young boys and girls", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in June.

The Wall Street Journal said in the same month that Israel had been providing Takfiri terrorists in Syria's Golan Heights with a steady flow of funds and medical supplies.

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