Ya'alon Visits Family of Teen Murdered in Syrian Regime Attack

Defense minister at home of murdered Israeli Arab teen says he 'went for day of fun with his father and didn't return. The heart grieves.'

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Yedidya Ben-Or, Ari Yashar,

Moshe Ya'alon
Moshe Ya'alon
Flash 90

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon made a condolence visit on Tuesday to the home of Mohammed Karaka, the 15-year-old Israeli Arab from Kafr Arraba who was killed on Sunday in the Golan Heights by a Syrian army cross border attack.

Karaka, the son of a defense ministry contractor, was killed when a missile hit the car he was in with his father and another contractor, both of whom were injured. It was the first death of an Israeli since the Syrian Civil War broke out in 2011. 

"Mohammed went out during the (school) break for a day of fun with his father, and to our sorrow he didn't return," said Ya'alon. "The heart grieves over the loss of such young life."

"There are no words that will console the parents and family members over the death of Mohamed, over the heavy feelings of sorrow and the great hollow space that will accompany them their whole lives," added the defense minister.

Israel responded immediately to the attack with tank fire, and hours later launched air strikes targeting Syrian military headquarters and positions. Syria said the strikes killed four soldiers and wounded nine, and on Monday urged the United Nations to condemn Israel's "flagrant violation" of its territory.

Ya'alon clarified that the IDF response was precise, saying "we know what happened in the incident, and therefore we responded against it with full force."

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman likewise commented on the incident Tuesday, saying "we received all the analyses and intelligence: it was clear that it was Syrian authorities. (Syrian President Bashar) Assad's forces fired at the Israeli civilian, on the vehicles that had stopped by the border, and they need to pay the price."

Liberman said the IDF reaction was "just how it should have been," warning "that's also how it will be in the future. I hope Damascus got the message."