Israel in dilemma over thousands of Syrians fleeing fighting toward its borders

Israel in dilemma over thousands of Syrians fleeing fighting toward its borders

Also on Tuesday, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that civilians fleeing the war in Syria will not be allowed entry in to Israel.

Jordan on Sunday mediated a new round of talks between rebels and Assad's main ally Russian Federation, seeking a wider truce in the area to avert more bloodshed and another wave of displaced people near its border.

After what rebels and opposition groups described as "failure" of talks with Russian Federation, both sides are back to the table to quell the regime offensive in Syria's Daraa province.

Responding to the recent developments, he said Israel now has two options - open its border, or push the worldwide community to create a zone in the southern part of Syria where Israel can bring in medical and other support for those who are fleeing the fighting.

On Saturday, the monitor said at least eight battered opposition-held towns in southern Syria had returned to regime control under Russian-brokered deals after almost two weeks of bombardment.

Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are deployed in al-Ghariya al-Gharbiya in Deraa province, Syria in this handout released on June 30, 2018.

Rami Abdel Rahman of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said: "At least eight towns in the northern and eastern Daraa countryside agreed to "reconciliation" deals after talks in each town between Russian generals as well as local notables and remaining rebels".

Professor Moshe Zimmerman, a historian at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said as long as Syria remains an enemy country, Israel would not open its gates to Syrian refugees.

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The UN refugee agency has reported that the number of displaced civilians in southern Syria has more than tripled in recent days, with over 160,000 now displaced from their homes in a little over a week.

The entire southwest is part of a "de-escalation zone" agreed past year by Russian Federation, the United States and Jordan.

Syria's southwest is strategically sensitive because of its proximity to the frontiers with both Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Israel says it is neutral in the seven-year war but has carried out scores of air strikes in Syria on suspected Iranian targets, Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas or in response to what it said were attacks directed against its own forces in the Golan.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein warned that many civilians risk being trapped between government forces, rebels, and Islamic State which has a small foothold there - an outcome he said would be a "catastrophe".

The chief Syrian opposition negotiator Nasr al-Hariri has decried "U.S. silence" over the offensive and said only a "malicious deal" could explain the lack of a US response.

US President Donald Trump said on Friday that he would discuss the Syria conflict during his planned meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki next month.

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