In light of the intensified battles in southern Syria and the country's army's advances towards the Israeli border, the Israel Defense Forces have been put on high alert in the disputed area of the Golan Heights, Haaretz reported.
While Tel Aviv is said not to be expecting a direct confrontation with the Syrian Arab Army, it is preparing for potential collateral damage or other side-effects from the military’s assault in Daraa province, which is sixty kilometers away from the Israeli border.
Within this context, the IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot left for Washington on June 28 for brief talks with his US counterpart, Joseph Dunford.
The Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen Gadi Eisenkot, landed today, June 28th 2018, for an official visit in the United States as the guest of the Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford pic.twitter.com/G3jcW9Qdjn— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) 28 июня 2018 г.
During the meetings, the parties will discuss military cooperation in light of the significant security challenges in different arenas in the Middle East and other topics— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) 28 июня 2018 г.
Reacting to a massive influx of Syrian asylum-seekers in Israel's north, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that even though Tel Aviv wouldn't accept refugees, it was ready to provide humanitarian aid.
"As always, we will be ready to provide any humanitarian assistance to civilians, women and children, but we will not take in any Syrian asylum seekers," Lieberman's press service cited him as saying.
According to an IDF statement, aid was transferred to four different sites on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights during an overnight operation.
Last night, during a special operation, humanitarian aid was transferred to Syrians fleeing hostilities who are living in tent camps throughout the Syrian Golan Heights pic.twitter.com/k81H4ZeRvs— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) 29 июня 2018 г.
The army, which noted dire living conditions in the camps, said that over 300 tents, 13 tons of food, 15 tons of baby formula and three large shipments of medical equipment and clothing had been delivered.
As part of the operation, which took place over several hours, 300 tents were transferred along with 13 tons of food, 15 tons of baby food, three pallets of medical equipment and medicine, and 30 tons of clothing and footwear— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) 29 июня 2018 г.
Thousands of Syrian civilians fleeing the hostilities are living under poor conditions in these camps near the Israeli border, often lacking access to water, electricity, food, and other basic necessities— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) 29 июня 2018 г.
“The IDF is monitoring the events in southern Syria and is preparing for a variety of scenarios, including continued humanitarian assistance to fleeing Syrians. We will not allow passage of Syrians fleeing the country and will continue to defend Israel's security interests,” read a statement released by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.
Responding to the UN's condemnation, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly stated that Tel Aviv would not retreat to the 1967 lines because they were “indefensible,” adding that the Golan Heights would “remain in the hands of Israel forever.”