View from the Golan
View from the GolanIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Fighting between government troops and rebels in Syria has once again spilled over into Israel.

On Thursday morning, three mortar shells were fired into Israel, with one of them hitting a neighborhood in the religious Zionist town of Alonei HaBashan, which is less than a kilometer from the border. None of the shells exploded.

IDF sappers rushed to the scene to neutralize the shells. No one was injured, and there was no damage.

The shells were among the many that have been lobbed by both sides in the civil war in Syria in recent days. Fierce fighting in the Damascus suburbs has spilled over into all of southern Syria, and the sounds of gunshots and bombs exploding over the border can be heard in northern Israel anytime of the day or night.

In recent days there have been several incidents of Syrian fighting spilling over into Israel, the prime example being the entry of three Syrian Army tanks into the demilitarized area on the Golan Heights border Saturday. The tanks entered the village of Bir Ajam, a short distance away from an IDF position, and were apparently maneuvering as part of the fighting between Assad and rebel forces.

Israel lodged a formal complaint with the United Nations, saying that the entry constituted a breach of the 1974 Armistice agreement between Jerusalem and Damascus.

On Wednesday, a stray Syrian bullet hit an IDF defensive post on the Golan, and on Monday, Syrian fire hit an IDF jeep on patrol near the Golan border. No one was injured in either incident, although there was damage to the jeep in Monday's shooting. The IDF said it did not consider any of the shootings or mortar shells as aggression by Syria against Israel, but as a series of accidents.

Alonei Habashan is the easternmost community in Israel, and is home to about 50 young families.