More Drug Smuggling on Syrian Border

Roman Portazky, Bamahane Magazine

The Northern Command discusses its success in thwarting drug smuggling attempts in 2010

Date: 16/01/2011, 7:08 PM     Author: Reut Farkash, Bamahane magazine

The Golan territorial brigade (a brigade assigned to duty specifically in the Golan, or northern Israel) has summarized attempted drug smuggling into Israel over the past year at the Syrian border. The past year saw a recorded 50% rise in thwarted smuggling attempts compared to the previous year.

The drugs smuggled into Israel in the Northern Command’s territories mainly come from the border with Syria. The Golan territorial brigade explained the reason for this is that the Lebanese border, rife with dangers of its own, is heavily fortified and closed off, thus drug sellers have difficulty passing through.

Widespread activities done in cooperation with Israel Police have been taken on to thwart these attempts. The Northern Command recently stated that as a result of its intensive activity in the field, drug smuggling may plummet.

“Infantry forces have been send to deal with the problem through widespread cooperation with the Israel Police,” said a Northern Command officer, adding that most successful thwarting events are a result of previous intelligence.

Despite the steep rise in smuggling attempts, the Northern Command summarizes 2010 as quieter in terms of threatening terrorist activity as opposed. “This is the quietest year in the last six year,” said the officer. “There were only two events of illegal entry into the command’s territories, one of a civilian asking for medical help and another of a man who managed to run back before he was caught.”

Another phenomenon which saw a rise was sheep herding in the region adjacent to the fence on the border of Syria. The rise is measured both by number of herders seen in the area and how close they continue to get to the border.