Netanyahu Warns Assad as Golan Heights Struck by Mortar Fire
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu also warned Sunday against any plan that President Bashar al-Assad might consider with regard to attempting to cross into Israel.
"We are ready for any development on the Syrian border as well,” the prime minister said in his opening remarks at the weekly Sunday cabinet meeting.
Syrian Army regulars fired a mortar shell Sunday morning from the direction of Be'er Ajam towards the eastern Golan Heights. The shell exploded in an open area in the Hezka region, and no physical injuries were reported.
IDF officials said they did not believe the shell was aimed at Israelis, but rather was another example of “spillover” from the civil war raging between Syrian Army troops and opposition forces.
Nevertheless, this is the fifth incident in a week in which the Golan Heights has shelled and fired at by Syrian Army regulars.
Last Thursday, three mortar shells were fired by the Syrian Army into the Golan, including one that landed in a neighborhood in the religious Zionist town of Alonei HaBashan. Miraculously, none of the shells exploded.
Four days ago, an IDF position near the border was hit by stray gunfire -- or so it appeared. No one was injured and no damage was caused.
Two days before that, an Israeli military jeep was hit by Syrian gunfire during a routine patrol on the Golan Heights, AFP reported. There were no casualties.
One week ago, three Syrian Army tanks entered the demilitarized zone via the village of Bir Ajam, into the area that acts as a buffer between Israel and Syria.
The continued spillover has caused the IDF to change the rules of engagement along the Syrian border. Soldiers have been instructed to respond if fire from Syria is dangerous and persistent, according to a report broadcast Friday by Channel 2 television news.