x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Israel planning to build border fence with Syria

Israel's prime minister says he will erect a fortified fence on the border with Syria to protect against radical Islamist forces that he claims have taken over the area.

JERUSALEM // Israel's prime minister says he will erect a fortified fence on the border with Syria to protect against radical Islamist forces that he claims have taken over the area.

Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel needs a barrier like a new Egyptian border fence that he says has stemmed the flow of African migrants. He said the Syrian regime was "unstable" and Israel was concerned about the country's chemical weapons. He told his cabinet today that across the frontier "the Syrian army has moved away, and in its place, global jihad forces have moved in".

"Global jihad" is the term Israel uses for forces influenced by Al Qaeda. Syria's rebels include some Al Qaeda-allied fighters.

Israel has largely stayed out of the conflict, though several mortar rounds have landed in the Israel-held Golan Heights.