War Tourism in the Golan Heights: The War Next Door (Part 3)


give them today when all the bombings got going over there yeah people working the fields we’re traveling over here the restaurant now is full these people that come to dine into the Golan Heights and maybe also take a look at the word that’s going next to us right now we’re just about 300 yards from the new border fence that Israel has built since the start of the civil war in Syria Jabbar al nusra al Qaeda affiliate there just on the other side of that fence now controlling a lot of this territory on your border how does that make you feel here in the news about Isis they’ve been ok things that if we don’t have Isis here this is one of the top tourist destinations in the israeli-controlled Golan Heights appear on a clear day like today there’s a great view of volcanic Hills sprawling vineyards and Syria’s Civil War so take this city with you this surreal moment being yourself of this volcanic mountain there’s a job at the new Safari together with I wonder did you miles away from here the guide is a bit confused Isis for now is nowhere near here but that is artillery and mortar fire from the al-qaeda-affiliated al-nusra front and the Syrian military locked in a battle for control of the road to Damascus as tourists watch the action here so does a team of United Nations observers for at least what’s left of it UN peacekeepers have been monitoring this disputed border since 1974 the end of Israel’s last war with Syria but this past August al-nusra took 45 Fijian peacekeepers prisoner when it took control of the border crossing the soldiers were at least two weeks later but it was enough to spook the force into abandoning its post in Syria now they watch the war from the same place as the rest of us we made several formal attempts to interview the commander of the observer force but his spokesman told us it wasn’t a good time to talk so when we spotted these Fijian UN observers we tried to talk to them hi are you from the UN from the observer mission so we cannot see anything we’re not allowed to say anything oh really nothing at all okay now could I kill it are you observing now is that what you’re doing just like you don’t look like tourists UN guys aren’t too talkative they must be pretty embarrassed that they don’t have the checkpoint anymore scared them all away I mean if they’re scared of me there’s no wonder that they’re not at their checkpoint down there anymore not far from the lookout is kibbutz murim golan home to about a hundred families who work as farmers and in tourism this popular restaurant is run by the kibbutz and it’s where many UN observers and tourists grab a stake in a glass of local wine after watching Syria’s Civil War ariga Lansky manages the restaurant and he says life hasn’t really changed since the Al nusra front sees the nearby border crossing listen you’re in a war zone in the Helmand okay you took us on a horseback ride to show us how life goes on we go up the mountain so have the view of the other side of the mountain give you up this cop this car literally has a mind of its own like even today when all the bombings got going over there yeah people working the fields we’re traveling over here and the restaurant now is full with people that come in to dine in toward the Golan Heights and enjoying the weather and maybe also take a look at the word that’s going next to us it’s a weird juxtaposition being over here so close to it and you know pretending that you’re just on a nature trail you know Santos can because of that you get like people that want to see that you don’t have a lot of spots where you can be like observers from the side to drink coffee to sit by and see like a war zone that was another big one the sounds today are far in the distance but increasingly the war is spilling into Israeli territory the Israeli military says it shot down a Syrian aircraft the military says the plane infiltrated Israeli airspace over the Golan Heights it’s unclear what may have happened to the pilot this happened in late spring the official story was that the Israelis shot down the Syrians to Khoi 24 aircraft after it flew into the Golan Heights and that both the pilot and the copilot ejected into Syria but Ari says he and his neighbors saw what really happened yeah they survived engines that were treats here and go back to Syria after that so they landed on the Israeli side yeah can you show me where the jet was shot down well approximately here this in this area Wow that was a big one beautiful scenery huh have you ever had any shells come down in this area yeah a few during the night we never saw you today and here you see the crater of a of a missile that land here yeah while back oh this is the crater from from a missile yeah well what can be done about this massive civil war in Syria well again I’m not the address to ask this a this question yeah but people get in there on daily basis the question is there who’s willing to interfere and stop it you know we don’t think we are not part of the problem and you don’t have to be part of the solution we will defend ourselves if we need to ready for that but look we’re traveling here this bomb going on over here and we don’t feel scared we don’t feel like it when any threat so so so far for us we just feel bad for the citizen that get killed over there as a reality a few miles from the kibbutz is an abandoned Syrian military training facility a friend of our ease brings us to the roof after warning about possible sniper fire I thought we weren’t supposed to go out on the roof we’re not supposed to but just for quick view jabhat Al nusra al Qaeda affiliate they’re just on the other side of that fence now controlling a lot of this territory on your border how does that make you feel hearing the news about Isis they’ve been ok thank God that we don’t have Isis here ok the Col Isis crazy yeah so said ok we’d rather have that yeah everything we have it I think that yeah seems like that for them also keeping the border quiet it’s it’s a common entrance right now we’re just about 300 yards from the new border fence that Israel has built since the start of the civil war in Syria there’s an Israeli flag on this side over here a minefield left over from the wars with Syria in the 60s and 70s but just over there beyond the UN checkpoint there’s a building with the black flag of al-nusra flying on the top Niraj on besar health endorphin well good well diverse career path Behati Wofford ian is Mahalo yeah dakaru toffee Rosarita Trayvon Martin

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