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Tensions In The Golan Heights explained

Sunday, October 25, 2015 7:24
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(Before It's News)

Tensions In The Golan Heights – Yusef Halabi/Youtube. @AmichaiStein1/ Twitter, Gil Eliyaho – YouTube


Israeli Paraglides Into Syria in Apparent Attempt to Join Rebel Group

Cleared for publication: 23-year-old Israeli Arab crosses border on Saturday evening; landing site unknown at this stage.
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A 23-year-old Israeli Arab paraglided over the border into Syria Saturday night in an apparent attempt to join the civil war. His family said Sunday that the man had become religious in the past year.

During the night Saturday, Israeli military forces, including fighter jets, were seen deployed in the Golan Heights. The Israeli censor banned reporting on the incident until Sunday morning.

Israeli military lookouts identified a glider crossing the border into Syrian territory at 5 P.M. on Saturday. Large military forces were rushed to the scene. Aircrafts flew overhead in an attempt to identify the landing site.

“We don’t know all the details, but apparently it was a 23-year-old Arab Israeli from Jaljulya, which did what he did intentionally and was picked up there,” IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Moti Almoz told military reporters. “We don’t know if people were waiting for him there, but we estimate that whoever did this kind of thing – against the direction of gliding – did so on purpose.”

According to a source in the Israeli defense establishment, when the initial report that a manned glider crossed the border came in, it was initially suspected that a paraglider was inadvertently carried over the border by winds, and paragliding clubs were contacted to see if anyone went missing.

The family and friends of the Jaljulya resident commented on the incident Sunday morning. The young man’s uncle said that although the family is secular, his nephew had become religious over the past year. The uncle said the young man’s father had received a phone call about an hour after an IDF observation post spotted the paraglider, in which he was told, “Your son is fine. He’s with us. Don’t worry,” before the call was cut off. The father says the speaker had a Bedouin accent.

“He started becoming more religious. He started praying every morning in the mosque,” said the uncle, who said he last saw the young man on Friday. “I told him that he’s 23 now and the best thing he should do is get married and have children and raise a family.”

The uncle also said the young man is the second of five children, and that the family is shocked by his actions. “From the moment his mother understood what happened, she’s been crying and shouting for him to come home. Now there’s talk that he bought the paraglider and hid it in his car. It’s not clear how he managed to do it. You have to know how to control and fly one of those things. Where did he practice? We don’t know.”

Jaljulya council head Faik Odeh said Sunday that the paraglider’s family is not considered extremist at all. “It’s not one of the biggest families in town, but they are well known,” he said. “They’re a quiet family.”

Odeh said the council has no information on the incident. “We know that the Shin Bet and the police showed up this morning [Sunday]. I don’t know what happened there – if he got carried away by the wind or if he got carried away by the spirit of the Islamic State. We’re trying to find out all we can.

“Maybe the recent unrest surrounding Al-Aqsa Mosque affected him. It is certainly affecting our young people, and not necessarily in a good way. I can tell you we’re not really prepared for such things. We once had to deal with a fellow who came back from ISIS, and we thought we’d put all that behind us. And now this happens,” added Odeh.

At the start of Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would take steps to have the young man’s citizenship revoked in wake of his attempt to join rebel organizations hostile to Israel.

In a major security breach, an Israeli Arab, 23, was able to fly by
paraglider across into Syria from the southwestern village of Mevo Hama
Saturday, Oct. 24, southwestern Golan without being intercepted –
although an IDF spotter had reported the event. The pilot came from the
Israeli Arab town of Jaljuliya east of Kfar Saba near the West Bank. His
defection, apparently to the Islamic State, was clearly organized in
advance. His landing in Syria was secured by a party from the jihadist
group who came to pick him up.

The massive air-and-ground search operation the Israeli military scrambled came too late.

“We believe he planned this move to the other side, and joined a group
there,” Brig.-Gen. Moti Almoz told reporters during a conference call
Sunday morning, after a gag order on the story was lifted. Another IDF
statement said that Israeli forces are still trying to ascertain the
person’s intentions


debkafile’s military sources count this event as a particularly grave security lapse for the following reasons:

1. The Shin Bet was clearly taken unawares of a conspiracy for the Israeli Arab’s flight.

2.  No one discovered that a paraglider was being assembled in secret at
Mevo Hama or had it brought there unnoticed. And who helped him launch

3. How did he set up communication with ISIS-Syria without being detected by Israeli security?

4. How did the preparations on the Syrian side to receive the pilot escape the attention of IDF military intelligence?

5. Why was no one on the spot authorized to shoot the paraglider shot
down before it flew across the border? By the time the report went
through channels, the bird had flown.

ISIS claims it has taken an “Israeli pilot” captive.

Our military sources add that the paraglider operation was set up by a hostile element to test Israel’s defenses in three areas:

  • The efficiency of IDF spotter posts across the Golan. The glider was indeed sighted and reported.
  • Israeli Air force operations in Golan – which were indeed found with holes that can be used for penetration.
  • Israel’s air defense on the Golan. This episode exposed the absence
    of a commander with authority to act with dispatch to foil an
    unforeseen event.

In other words, Israel’s defenses were wide open to attack Saturday.


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