OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israel’s army Sunday declared part of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights a closed military zone, fearing battles on the Syrian side would spill over the cease-fire line.
An army spokeswoman told AFP the area around the Qunaitra crossing was closed “for security reasons.”
Speaking to AFP, security sources said they feared fighting between rebels and Syrian army forces would affect the area.
Rebels in southern Syria set up earlier this year the so-called Southern Front, including some 30,000 fighters from more than 55 mainstream rebel groups, and have claimed successes, notably in Qunaitra.
In March, Israeli aircraft struck inside Syria in the wake of a bomb attack on the Golan which wounded four soldiers. Since the conflict erupted in 2011, the plateau has been tense, with a growing number of stray projectiles hitting the Israeli side, prompting an occasional armed response.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 12, 2014, on page 8.