IDF ready to protect Druze town from Syrian rebels

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The statement was an unusually explicit Israeli pledge to intervene in the war in Syria, where Israeli officials are voicing deeper alarm at the role of Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah, which are fighting alongside the Syrian government.

In a conversation with Druze leader Mowafaq Tarif, the head of Israel's internal security service, the Shin Bet, said that Israel "would not allow terrorists to take over the village".

The attack hit the village of Hader, populated by members of the Druze majority, which lies near the disengagement line that divides the Syrian-controlled part of the Golan from that occupied by Israel. 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.

The demonstrators accused Israel of backing the al-Qaeda-linked Al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board), during its assault on the government-held town of Hader in Quneitra province, press tv reported.

Jihadists launched an assault today on a government-held village in Syria's Golan Heights, killing at least nine people in a auto bomb, and clashing with regime troops, state media said.

Israel's Druze, some of whom have reached the senior echelons of the Israeli military and government, have been calling for help on behalf of their brethren in Syria, both at home and overseas.

In a statement, the Israeli military IDF said it "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".

"There has been heavy fighting [in Syria] since early this morning", Fakherldeen said.

The PA ministry's statement reflects the opinion of the Syrian government, which accuses Israel of supporting terrorist groups in Syria.

However, according to foreign reports, Israel has financially supported other southern Syria opposition groups in order to ensure forces friendly to Israel control the Syrian side of the northern Golan border.

The Jewish state has officially maintained a posture of non-intervention in the war in Syria that erupted after anti- government protests in March 2011.

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. Those include the violation of Israeli sovereignty through deliberate or accidental attacks, Iranian-supported militias taking positions on the Golan border, and attempts to transfer advanced weapons to the Hezbollah terrorist group. "We do, however, provide humanitarian aid to young boys and girls", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in June.

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