Israeli ambulance
Israeli ambulance Flash 90

A wounded Syrian has died on his way to an Israeli hospital after crossing the border to seek medical treatment in the Jewish state.

Israel operated on another Syrian seeking refuge from his country’s bloody civil-war. The man is reported to be in stable condition, hospital army spokeswoman Yael Shavit told the AFP news agency.

"A wounded Syrian who was travelling in a military ambulance died before reaching Ziv hospital" in the northern Galilee town of Safed, she said.

Israeli army radio later said both patients were Syrian rebels fighting against President Bashar al-Assad's regime in the civil war next door.

Shavit said Ziv hospital had treated 16 Syrians injured in fighting in the Golan Heights over the past three months.

On Monday, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon confirmed reports that the army had opened a field hospital in the Golan Heights to treat wounded Syrians crossing the border.

"It's a humanitarian move, but Israel has no intention of opening a refugee camp," he said.

In recent months, there have been several instances of gunfire or mortar shells hitting the Israeli side of the Golan. In November, troops responded with artillery in the first such instance of Israeli fire at the Syrian military since the 1973 Yom Kippur war.

Israel gained part of the strategic plateau from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed it in 1981.

Israel and Syria remain officially at war. Peace talks between the two countries collapsed in 2,000 over the status of the Golan.