IDF officials confirm mortars were probably ‘spillover’ from fighting in Syrian Golan, where heavy battles have been ongoing in recent hours.
• No injuries reported.
By Ron Ben-Yishai & Ahiya Raved
Two mortars fell in northern Israel early Tuesday afternoon, shortly after air raid sirens blared throughout the area of Kibbutz Ein Zivan in the northern Golan Heights, warning of fire from Syria. Local residents reported hearing blasts in the area shortly after.
“From an initial investigation it seems that the blasts heard in the Golan were a result of internal Syrian fighting on the other side of the border,” the IDF said, adding that at least two projectiles hit Israel. No injuries have been reported.
“It was probably errant fire,” an IDF source said. Another military source called it “spillover”. The IDF said that at present, they do not know why the sirens blared throughout such widespread areas.
Ein Zivan is located across the border from Syria’s Quneitra – where battles have been waging between pro-regime forces and rebels in recent days. The incident could be spillover from the Syrian conflict. During the morning hours, reports emerged of battles between different Syrian rebel factions across from the central Golan Heights.
According to Iranian media, a group calling itself “National Resistance” has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack.
The last time rockets hit northern Israel was last July, when two rockets fired from Lebanon slammed into northern Israel, followed by another rocket, this time from Syria, which landed in a town in the north of the Golan Heights.
The rocket sirens were activated in the Kibbutzim of Gonen, Lehavot HaBashan, Neot Mordechai, Amir, Sde Nehemia and Shamir, as well as in the towns of Had Nes, Kanaf, Ma’ale Gamla, Kidmat Tzvi, Katzrin, Sha’al, Odem, El Rom, Buq’ata, Majdal Shams, Masada, Neve Ativ, Nimrod and Ein Qiniyye.
On Sunday evening, four terrorists were killed by IDF troops as they were trying to place a bomb along Israel’s border with Syria. The incident came after reports in Arab media said Israel launched an attack in Syria late Friday night, hitting a convoy of long-range missile intended for Shiite terror group Hezbollah.
An IDF patrol identified four figures approaching the border near Mt. Dov in the Golan Heights at around 9:30 pm and alerted IAF planes to the scene. The air force then took out the terrorist with at least three confirmed killed in the attack.
The incident took place in Israeli territory, in an abandoned IDF base located outside the fence acting’s as the buffer zone between Israel and Lebanon.
“A short while ago, the IDF eliminated a terror cell attempting to place an explosive device against IDF forces on Israel’s border with Syria. The IDF will not accept any attempt to attack or infringe Israel’s sovereignty,” the IDF said in statement.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the event, saying “any attempt to harm our soldiers will be met with a firm response, like the one led by the IDF tonight who stopped an attempted terror attack. I praise the IDF alertness which responded quickly and accurately.”
The area in which the attack took place was scene to a previous incident in March 2014 in which the IDF shot two Hezbollah fighters who tried to plant a bomb on the border fence between the Israeli side of the Golan Heights and the Syrian-held territory. The incident took place after another alleged Israeli attack in along the Lebanese-Syrian border.
The alleged Israeli strike was reported in Al-Arabiya, which claimed the target was a cache of Syrian Scuds. The Saudi-owned network further claimed that Israel had also struck the area on Wednesday.
Al Jazeera reported on Saturday morning that Israeli warplanes bombed positions belonging to the Syrian army and Hezbollah in the al-Qalamoun region near the border between Syria and Lebanon, with reports claiming the attack occurred in two waves and left a number of casualties.
Last week, a code red siren was sounded in Sderot and other Gaza border communities in southern Israel as the country celebrated Israel’s 67th Independence Day.
The last time the air raid siren blared in southern communities was at the end of December. The rocket hit an open field in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council, near Sderot. No injuries or damages were reported.
View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4651443,00.html