Netanyahu says Islamists have taken over border area with Syria
The prime ministers says Israel will build a fortified fence for its protection:
The Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced the move four days after another barrier, aimed at keeping out illegal migrants from Africa, was completed along Israel's frontier with Egypt.
"We intend to stretch an identical fence, with some necessary changes due to the different conditions, along the Golan Heights," he told the weekly Israeli cabinet meeting.
"We know that on the other side of our border with Syria today, the Syrian army has backed off, and global jihad operatives have taken its place," Mr Netanyahu said.
"We must therefore protect this border from infiltrations and terror, as we have successfully been doing along the Sinai border."
Calling Mr Assad's regime "very unstable", he reiterated Israeli fears over Syria's chemical weapons arsenal falling into the hands of Islamist groups.
"The question of chemical weapons here worries us and we are coordinating our intelligence and readiness with the US and others so that we might be prepared for any scenario and possibility that could arise," he said.
Last month, Mr Netanyahu said Israel was making preparations for the collapse of Mr Assad's regime, which he predicted was imminent.
Building a barrier in the Golan Heights would consolidate Israel's hold on territory it seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed in 1981 in a move that has never been internationally recognised.
Netanyahu is trying to inoculate Israel from the spreading infection of Islamist extremism in Syria. It is only going to get worse as Assad's hold on power slips and the rebels - too disorganized to prevent it - will see further inroads by Islamists into the rebel army.