Israel turns away dozens of fleeing Syrian refugees

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By Abdel Raouf Arnaut,

Jerusalem: Israeli border guards on Tuesday sent back dozens of Syrian refugees who approached the border fence with Israel, according to the Israeli military.

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“Around 200 Syrians approached the border fence, but were dispersed,” military spokesman Avichay Adraee told Anadolu Agency.

Local media said the refugees, some of whom carried white clothes, walked toward the border fence and were stopped some 200 meters away from the fence.

According to Israeli daily Haaretz, an Israeli soldier shouted at the refugees to “go back”.

Thousands of Syrian refugees have fled toward Israel-occupied Golan Heights over a wide-scale offensive launched by regime forces to recapture the southwestern Daraa province from opposition groups.

Last month, a senior Israeli official said Israel would not allow “a single refugee” to enter Israeli territory but was prepared to offer humanitarian assistance.

Syria has only just begun to emerge from a devastating conflict that began in 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with unexpected ferocity.

—AA

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