IDF arrests 2 Syrians for attempting to smuggle 21 kilos of hash

Incidents of drug-running on Golan Heights border are thought to be relatively rare; pair detained near Druze town of Majdal Shams

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

This handout photo shows drugs seized by Israeli security forces on the border with Syria, January 31, 2023. (Israel Police)
This handout photo shows drugs seized by Israeli security forces on the border with Syria, January 31, 2023. (Israel Police)

In a rare incident, Israeli security forces on Tuesday arrested two Syrian men who allegedly attempted to smuggle drugs into Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces said soldiers monitoring surveillance cameras spotted the two suspects close to the border fence near the northern Druze town of Majdal Shams.

Soldiers and police officers dispatched to the scene arrested the pair and found them to be carrying 21 kilograms (46 pounds) of hashish, with an estimated value of hundreds of thousands of shekels.

The Syrians, aged 30 and 33, are to be brought before a court on Wednesday to extend their remand, police said.

Incidents of drug smuggling on the border with Syria are thought to be relatively rare.

The smuggling attempt came after another unusual incident on the Syrian border this week.

Israeli soldiers patrol the border fence with Syria, in southern Golan Heights, on January 29, 2023. (Michael Giladi/Flash90)

Two armed Syrians approached the Israeli border in the southern Golan Heights on Sunday. One was shot dead by troops and the second fled.

According to the IDF’s initial probe, the pair were likely hunters, and were not attempting to perpetrate an attack on the border.

A few weeks ago, the IDF said troops detained five suspects who crossed into Israeli territory from Syria. In December, two similar incidents occurred.

Though Jerusalem and Damascus remain in a state of war, Syrians wounded in the country’s bloody civil conflict who make it to the border have been provided medical treatment by the Jewish state.

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