A view of Israel's border with Syria. (IDF)
Syrian border

The IDF’s intelligence chief warns of the looming dangers on Israel’s northern border, stating the IDF must be prepared for any developments.

IDF Major General Hertzi Halevi stated that Israeli must be “prepared” for new conflicts among its northern border with Syria, whose internal violence he described as “50 shades of black.” Speaking at the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces (FIDF) at the annual National Gala in New York on Tuesday, Halevi stated that Syria was no longer the state that it once was.

“Syria has long ceased to be the state that we all knew four years ago. We call it ’50 Shades of Black,’ although I must admit I haven’t read the ‘grey’ version. One need only take a glimpse at what goes on there to understand why we must be prepared on the northern border,” said the head of the Israel Defense Forces Military Intelligence.

More than 200,000 Syrians have lost their lives during the conflict between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and those against his rule. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) reports that the agency has close to 3.8 million registered Syrian refugees who have fled to neighboring countries and North Africa. More than nine million people have been displaced from their homes as the country approaches its fifth year of civil war.

Halevi also said that the so-called Arab Spring has turned into a wider religious war that has redrawn the Middle East. “The maps of our area have been changing in front of our eyes. Borders drawn more than a century ago are being recklessly erased.”

“The upheaval in the Middle East has turned into a religious struggle among armed factions,” said Halevi.

An IDF officer was lightly wounded yesterday when Israeli troops came under Syrian fire in the northern part of the Golan Heights on Tuesday, March 10. There has been repeated fire across the armistice line between Israel and Syria since the uprising began in Syria, including both intentional fire and stray fire from the internal fighting.

FIDF Rallies for Israel

The FIDF gala dinner also featured the IDF’s 19th Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. (Res.) Gabi Ashkenazi, Israel Defense and Armed Forces Attache to the U.S. and Canada, Maj. Gen. Yaacob Ayish, among others as well as U.S. author and nationally syndicated Dr. Monica Crowley, who served as the evening Master of Ceremonies. The event paid tribute to the contributions of IDF soldiers and their invaluable services to the Jewish state.

The funds raised at the gala – $24 million – will provide crucial aid to wounded IDF veterans, academic scholarships to former combat soldiers, financial support for underprivileged soldiers, and lone soldiers from around the world as well as educational and recreational facilities.

By Anav Silverman/Tazpit News Agency

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