Israel 'will block entry' to Syrians fleeing Daraa blitz

Israel will not allow Syrians to enter occupied Syrian territories
2 min read
29 June, 2018
Israeli ministers are queuing up to demand the government block entry to Syrians fleeing a regime assault on Daraa province from entering territories under its control.
Lieberman said refugees should not be allowed to enter Israeli-occupied Syrian territories [AFP]
Israel will not allow Syrians fleeing a massive regime bombardment in southern Syria to find refuge in territories under its control, ministers have said.

Hardline Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Israel will continue to provide aid to refugees over the border but will not allow Syrians to enter areas of the country occupied by its military.

"We are closely monitoring events in southern Syria. We will guard Israel's security interests. As always, we will be ready to provide humanitarian aid to civilians, women and children but we will not accept any Syrian refugee to our territory," he said on Twitter.

Lieberman appeared to be referring to the occupied Golan Heights, Syrian territories seized by Israel and illegally annexed in the 1967 war with Arab states.

Israel had sent aid to refugees camped out on the border with the occupied Golan on Thursday night for Syrians "fleeing hostilities".

Lieberman's comments follow calls by Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz to block Syrians entering the occupied territory.

Israel has blocked entry to Syrians throughout the seven-year war, but medics and hospitals have treated some Syrians injured in fighting in the Golan. 

The Syrian regime launched a brutal offensive on Daraa on 19 June, with Russian air raids intensifying in recent days.

Daraa was covered by truce sponsored by Russia, the US and Jordan, although Washington has stated it will not take action to enforce the ceasefire despite earlier promises. 

More than 120,000 Syrians have been displaced in the government assault.