Israel is to build a 43-mile security fence along the armistice line of the occupied Golan Heights to prevent incursions by Islamist militants currently fighting against President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria.
The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced the move four days after another barrier, aimed at keeping out illegal migrants from Africa, was completed along Israel’s frontier with Egypt.
“We intend to stretch an identical fence, with some necessary changes due to the different conditions, along the Golan Heights,” he told the weekly Israeli cabinet meeting.
“We know that on the other side of our border with Syria today, the Syrian army has backed off, and global jihad operatives have taken its place,” Mr Netanyahu said.
“We must therefore protect this border from infiltrations and terror, as we have successfully been doing along the Sinai border.”
Calling Mr Assad’s regime “very unstable”, he reiterated Israeli fears over Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal falling into the hands of Islamist groups.