Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that his country is to build an electrified fence on the occupied Syrian Golan Heights. The aim, he claims, is to prevent any violence in Syria spilling over into the occupied territory. Israel practically, though not legally, annexed the Golan Heights in 1981, a move which has not been recognised internationally.
Netanyahu made his announcement when he confirmed that the fence along the Israel-Egypt border is almost finished. "[That fence has] succeeded in stemming the flow of African migrants," he said. "A similar fence, with some changes necessary due to the different conditions of the Golan Heights, is needed on the borders with Syria."
Describing the situation in Syria as "unstable", Netanyahu said that this makes it necessary to protect "Israel's borders" and alleged that the Syrian army has ceded those areas near to Israel to "global jihadists". He was speaking during his weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, during which he also expressed his concerns about Syria's chemical weapons.
Netanyahu affirmed that Israel cooperates with many countries around the world regarding the situation in Syria, including the exchange of intelligence with the US.
Observers point out that the plan for the Golan Heights will establish a de facto border decided unilaterally by Israel. The Zionist state remains the only member state of the United Nations which has not declared where its land borders lie.