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Tuesday, August 16, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Israeli Army upgrades 40-year-old mines
along border with Syria

TEL AVIV — Israel has bolstered military assets along the border with Syria.


Military sources said the Israel Army has reinforced defenses along the northern border with Syria. They said the Army's Engineering Corps has planted hundreds of mines along the Israeli-Syrian border in the Golan Heights.

"For the first time in about a decade, the Israel Defense Forces recently placed anti-personnel mines along the Israel-Syria border in the Golan Heights," a military statement said.

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The reinforcement effort was launched amid Iranian- and Syrian-sponsored efforts to send thousands of Palestinians and others to infiltrate the border with Israel. The sources said the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad could increase unrest along the Israeli border in an effort to divert international attention from the revolt in Syria.

The Aug. 11 military statement said combat engineering forces conducted the mine-laying operation during daylight, Middle East Newsline reported. The military said the mines were placed in the area between the security fence and the so-called Alpha line that marks the Israel-Syria border.

In May, about 1,000 Palestinians infiltrated Israel from Syria. The sources said the Israeli mines, most of them planted nearly 40 years ago, did not work, and the Palestinians easily crossed into the Golan Heights.

A combat engineering officer said the new mines were meant to bolster the border with Syria. The officer said the new mines would help prevent Palestinian and other infiltration.

"Additionally, anti-tank minefields in the area will soon be upgraded," the statement said.

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