Israel, Syria Conflict: 9 Quotes That Illustrate Recent Struggles

Friday, 29 Aug 2014 05:06 PM

By Krista Klaus

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The Islamic State (ISIS) has ramped up its violent attacks and torture tactics in Syria’s Golan Heights, and neighboring Israel is working to protect its portion of the Golan Heights from what appears to be an imminent incursion.

Israel is growing frustrated with the international response to the threat, including a delay of U.S. arms shipments to help fight ISIS and a U.S. White House that is dragging its heels on a definitive military response. Dozens of U.N. peacekeepers from several countries were detained the last week of August, just days after American journalist James Foley was beheaded by ISIS militants.

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The civil war in Syria has killed 191,000 people since March 2011. Below are nine recent quotes that help put the crisis into focus.

"We see the Syrian Army as responsible for all fire into Israel."
– Israeli Army spokesman, Jerusalem Post, Aug. 27, 2014

"The monster is growing all the time. The numbers (of fighters) and the abilities at the Islamic State’s disposal are great and mighty. This worries everyone, and everyone should be worried."
– Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah leader (referring to the Sunni Islamic State), Times of Israel, Aug. 15, 2014

"While we speak ... Jabhat al-Nusra, an organization affiliated with al-Qaida, is storming the city of Quneitra in the Syrian Golan. In the afternoon they wrested the border crossing between Israel and Syria from [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad’s hands, and now they are trying to conquer the city itself. This is a totally new reality. Once upon a time, there was one address in Syria. Today, there are dozens. In order to win [in the past], you had to beat the Syrian armored divisions. And that is something that the IDF knows very well how to do. The army is built for that. Today, the story has become far more complicated, elusive, difficult, and shadowy."
– Senior Israeli officer, Al-Monitor, Aug. 27, 2014

"This is not a conflict that we are involved in. It is an internal conflict. However, we need to be prepared, and we are not willing to have the fighting spill over into Israel."
– Israeli Army Spokesman Lt. Col Peter Lerner, Washington Post, Aug. 27, 2014

It’s time to "stop being ambivalent. ... They (groups like the Islamic State) have no ideology beyond violence and chaos and the slaughter of innocent people."
– U.S. President Barack Obama, The Times of Israel, Aug. 28, 2014

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"Bodies of those killed are placed on display for several days, terrorising the local population. ... Bodies of those killed are placed on display for several days, terrorising the local population. ... Women have been lashed for not abiding by IS's dress code. In Raqqa, children as young as 10 are being recruited and trained at IS camps."
Report of the U.N.’s independent international commission of inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, Aug. 13, 2014

The international community has failed "in its most elemental duties — to protect civilians, halt and prevent atrocities and create a path toward accountability."
– Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the UN’s independent international commission of inquiry, BBC News, Aug. 27, 2014

"Who will pay the price? All the residents of the Golan Heights. The militants of ISIS will not differentiate between us. They will kill everyone. We see videos on TV, Facebook. The danger is getting closer to us."
– Golan resident Badi'a Ahmed, Israel Hayom newsletter, Aug. 29, 2014

"Hamas is ISIS, and ISIS is Hamas. They’re branches of the same tree. People who wantonly rocket our cities and want to conduct mass killings. And when they can, they murder children, teenagers, shoot them in the head. Throw people from the sixth floor, their own people. ... They’re the enemies of peace, they’re the enemies of Israel, they’re the enemies of all civilized countries. And I believe they’re the enemies of the Palestinians themselves."
– Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Times of Israel, Aug. 27, 2014

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