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October 29, 2013 7:33 pm

Israel Prepares Golan Residents for Al-Qaeda Spillover From Syria War

avatar by Joshua Levitt

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The fighting in Syria, as seen from Israel. Photo: Tsuri Cohen-Arazi/ Tazpit News Agency.

Israel Defense Forces troops on Monday prepared Israeli residents of the Golan Heights for potential incursions by al-Qaeda, as fighting in Syria’s civil war continues, Israel’s Walla News reported on Tuesday.

The exercise was designed based on a 1974 attack on Northern Israel in which terrorists crossed over from Lebanon into the country, killed four people, then barricaded themselves in a school, creating a hostage crisis in which another 22 people died.

After the exercise, the IDF tested alert drills and met with members of the Golan community. IDF soldiers also put up new fences and barriers, updated security systems, established intelligence gathering mechanisms and placed special forces in the area.

The move is part of a broader preparedness plan initiated by the IDF’s elite units, in cooperation with Israeli Police, to prepare the country for a possible large terrorist attack by Al-Qaeda operatives, already within Israel, Walla News said. Two months ago, Northern Corps commander, General Noam Tivon, led a major defense exercise for elite units based on that possibility.

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