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Israel police arrest suspect in poisoning of rare vultures

AFP  |  Jerusalem 

said Monday they have arrested a man suspected of poisoning nearly half the already-threatened population in the Israeli-annexed

A resident of the Bedouin village of Tuba Zangariya in was detained on Sunday and remanded in custody by a court in Tiberias, police said in a statement. Police did not mention any apparent motive, but posted a picture of a cow carcass the suspect had allegedly dosed with poison.

said such poisonings in the past had been caused by farmers putting out poisoned bait to stop predators attacking their herds.

Eight out of around 20 griffon vultures left in the Golan were found dead Friday, Israel's told AFP, in what he described as "a mortal blow to the birds of prey population".

A fox and two jackals were also found dead and two sick vultures were taken to a wildlife clinic for treatment, the organisation's said.

The population on the Israeli side of the has declined significantly over the past two decades, with their number dropping from 130 in 1998 to around 20 before the latest deaths.

In 2016, UN peacekeepers helped return a which had been captured across the border in on suspicion of being used for spying for the Jewish state.

seized around 1,200 square kilometres (460 sq miles) of the Golan from in a 1967 and later annexed it, in moves never recognised by the international community.

About 18,000 Syrians belonging to the Druze community -- most of whom refuse Israeli citizenship -- remain in the occupied Golan, alongside some 20,000 Israeli settlers in 33 communities.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, May 13 2019. 22:11 IST