|Israel on heightened alert over Golan|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Saturday, 30 September 2006 00:00|
Last week Syrian President Bashar Assad promised financial incentives to Syrians who were willing to take up residence in the Israeli controlled Golan Heights, captured from Syria during the Six Day War. Revelations also surfaced a number of weeks ago that Syrian government officials were buying up land in the Golan Heights, which was likely to become prime real-estate when the territory is handed back to Syria. The Syrian government has become emboldened with the recent conflict between Israel and Hizbullah, and Bashar Assad is now considering forming his own Hizbullah-styled "resistance" army to wage war against Israel. The Syrian President has stated he hopes to reclaim the Golan Heights peacefully, but if hopes for peace faded then war would become the only option.
Quote: "But Israeli reports have revealed that the threat level had been raised after intelligence assessments that Damascus is "seriously examining" military action. The raised threat level comes as Israel prepares for Monday's Day of Atonement, known as Yom Kippur, a solemn Jewish holiday when the entire country effectively shuts down as residents fast and seek forgiveness for sins. It was on Yom Kippur in 1973 that Israel was caught by surprise as Syrian and Egyptian forces launched a joint attack and inflicted heavy losses before being repelled.