(JERUSALEM) — Israel has plans to build a fence along the 40-mile stretch of the Golan Heights to assure that the violence in Syria doesn’t affect its own country.
While there have been virtually no problems up to now, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he’s taking the preventative measure anyway, citing concerns about hard-line Islamist groups now fighting alongside rebels primarily interested in the overthrow of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
According to the Israeli leader, the Syrian government is on the verge of collapse and the barrier he proposed will give the 20,000 people who live in the Golan Heights more peace of mind.
Israel captured the territory during the 1967 war and subsequently annexed the region, which is unrecognized by virtually the entire international community.
The fence will be built along the line bordering Syria. Israel has repeatedly refused Damascus’ demand that the Golan Heights be returned.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN