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Daily Israel Report

Golan Heights Explosion Kills Israeli Teen, IDF Responds

Mortar shell detonated near moving vehicle explodes, killing one and seriously injuring up to 4; IDF begins firing into Quneitra.
By AFP and Arutz Sheva Staff
First Publish: 6/22/2014, 11:38 AM / Last Update: 6/22/2014, 2:37 PM

Golan Heights
Golan Heights
Reuters

At least one person is dead and several are injured in an explosion on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights Sunday, after an explosive device was detonated near a passing vehicle. 

The IDF Spokesperson's Office just confirmed that two people were injured and one killed in the blast, and that the attack was carried out against "civilian sub-contractors for the Ministry of Defense." 

According to Channel 10, the person killed is a 15 year-old boy; the injured include two contractors for the Ministry of Defense, including the boy's father, and up to two other people.

"A 15-year-old Israeli was killed, he was the son of a contractor," a ministry official told AFP, saying the boy was traveling in a car with his father and another contractor at the time. Both contractors were also injured in the incident, he said, without saying what caused it.

As of 2:30 pm, the name of the teen has been released. He has been identified as Mohammed Karaka, 15, from Kafr Arraba.

"This is the most substantial incident on the border with Syria since the beginning of the civil war," said Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, the army's foreign press spokesman, confirming it was the first death on the Israeli side.

He said the shooting was deliberate.

"This was an intentional attack, not errant fire," he said, adding that the target was a vehicle delivering water.

Lerner said the army was "not certain if it was an explosive device, a rocket or a mortar" that caused the explosion, noting there was a hole in the nearby fence.

The IDF has responded to the attack, IDF Radio reported a short time ago, firing on the border town of Quneitra, which is in Syrian President Bashar Assad's control. 

Lerner said it was unclear who was behind Sunday's incident.

"On the other side, we are aware of an extensive rebel, or opposition presence, but we can't confirm who was involved in it," he told reporters.

'Assad Will Fail'

The Syrian border with Israel has been less than quiet, with small skirmishes erupting between Syrian rebel forces and the IDF on several occasions. 

Earlier this month, Syrian rebels shot at an IDF post near Mount Hermon; no one was hurt. 

In early March, two rockets landed also near an IDF post in Mount Hermon. No injuries or damage were reported in that incident.

Despite several incidents, Israel has rarely seen damage or injuries from the threat of Syrian fighting along the border.

Last month, several top military officials warned that the war would inevitably cross into Israel, however - and that when it did, Assad would pay the price. 

"It happens quite a lot, almost daily, that a Syrian plane fighting with rebel forces approaches the Golan Heights border" an official said in May. "When it does happen, [Assad] will fall. It's bound to happen." 

More to follow. 



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Credit: Hatzalah Yosh