Israel attacks after 'Syria rockets' hit Golan Heights

Israeli security forces return fire after two rockets allegedly fired from Syria hit region that has become flash point.

    Tensions have soared along the ceasefire line since a January 18 air strike attributed to Israel killed six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general near Quneitra in Syria [Reuters]
    Tensions have soared along the ceasefire line since a January 18 air strike attributed to Israel killed six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general near Quneitra in Syria [Reuters]

    Two rockets fired from Syria have hit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights region, prompting Israeli forces to return fire, the Israeli army has said, reporting no injuries.

    Israeli army spokesman Peter Lerner said on Tuesday that the Syrian fire was "intentional, not spillover from the Syrian civil war" as has sometimes been the case in the past, though no government or group has claimed responsibility for the alleged attack.

    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later warned that Israel was "ready to respond with force" to any attack.

    In response to the alleged attack, the Israeli army carried out overnight raids against Syrian army artillery posts. There were no reports of casualties in Syria.

    Tensions have soared along the ceasefire line since a January 18 air strike attributed to Israel killed six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general near Quneitra on the Syrian-held side of the strategic plateau.

    Hezbollah spokesman Mohammad Afif told Al Jazeera that he has no comment on any group activity in the Golan Heights.

    Army deployments

    Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said on Friday that Israel was prepared for any retaliation by Lebanon's Hezbollah, which is operating in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad.

    "Israel will hold responsible governments, regimes and organisations on the other side of our northern borders over any violation of Israel's sovereignty, or an attack on soldiers or civilians," he said during a tour of the Golan and the nearby border with Lebanon.

    Al Jazeera's correspondent in Jerusalem, Nisreen El-Shamayleh, said that "the situation at the border remains tense," especially since Israel's January 18 attack, "with lots of [Israeli] army deployments and even reports that the Iron Dome missile defence system" is being moved to the area.

    There has been repeated fire across the ceasefire line since the uprising in Syria erupted in March 2011, not all of it stray.

    In September, the army fired at a Syrian military position in response to what it said was stray fire from fighting between soldiers and rebels close to the armistice line on the Golan.

    In August, five rockets fired from Syria hit the Israeli-occupied sector of the Golan Heights and, in July, Israel shelled Syrian army positions when a rocket struck its territory.

    Israel seized 1,200 sq km of the Golan from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and annexed it in 1981 in a move never recognised by the international community.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.