Newest Israeli tourist attraction: Watching Syrians fight
From online dispatches
Mount Bental is a sought-out overlook these days, shared by boisterous tourists and anxious Israelis hoping to catch a glimpse of the conflict in Syria. AP photo
Dozens of Israelis are flocking to vantage points in the Golan Heights to observe the ongoing clashes in neighboring Syria, the Times of Israel reported on its website yesterday.
The recent fad was reportedly sparked – though unintentionally – by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak after he visited the Golan Heights to personally witness the battles raging in the country’s war-torn neighbor.
A steadily increasing stream of Israelis, carrying binoculars and cameras, have been visiting the Golan Heights in the days that followed Barak's visit. The war-watchers hoped to catch a glimpse of the fighting in Syria, the report said, but it was a rare occasion. The visitors had to content themselves with listening to exchanges of gunfire and explosions, which were more common.
Tour group operators reportedly said they would begin including the Syrian unrest on their tour itineraries.
Israeli security forces reportedly said they were "doing their best" to keep the sightseers away from sensitive army installations along the border between the two countries.