Israeli forces shot at a target across the Syrian frontier on Tuesday in response to gunfire that struck an IDF patrol in the Golan Heights, damaging a military vehicle but causing no injuries, the military said, citing a ‘direct hit’.
“Overnight, shots were fired at an IDF patrol on the border in the central Golan Heights, damaging a military vehicle. No injuries were caused,” IDF said in a statement.
“In response, IDF forces returned precise fire at the source of the gunfire. They reported a direct hit. The IDF views the recent incidents in the north with concern and has lodged a complaint with UNDOF.”
A defense source told The Jerusalem Post, “They fired on our patrol. Whether they knew it was us or not I don’t know, but it’s the third time in a row this has happened [this week], at the same place and time. The fire was directed at us.”
Gunfire incidents across the frontier from Syria have recurred since the beginning of the conflict in Syria more than two years ago. However, there have been no major flare-ups in the region until now, with Syrian shells crashing in the occupied Golan and Israel firing in retaliation.
Israel’s Army Radio said Tuesday’s incident was the third consecutive cross-border shooting this week. Two instances of gunfire into the Israeli Golan Heights occurred on Monday morning.
Israel captured the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau, from Syria in a 1967 war and later annexed the area. Negotiations aimed at resolving that conflict fell apart in 2000.
Israel has not taken sides in Syria’s bloody conflict, but has been worried about the involvement of Lebanese group Hezbollah, in the fighting.