Israel drawn into Syria fighting

2012-11-11 16:34

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Jerusalem - Israel was drawn into the Syrian civil war for the first time on Sunday, firing warning shots into the neighbouring country after a stray mortar shell fired from Syrian territory hit an Israeli military post.

The Israeli military said the mortar fire caused no injuries or damage at the post in the Golan Heights, which Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war and then annexed. But in recent weeks, incidents of errant fire from Syria have multiplied, leading Israel to warn that it holds Syria responsible for fire on Israeli-held territory.

"A short while ago, a mortar shell targeted an IDF [Israel Defence Forces] post in the Golan Heights," said army spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Avital Leibovich.

"We answered with a warning shot toward Syrian areas. We understand this was a mistake and was not meant to target Israel and then that is why we fired a warning shot in retaliation."

The Israeli military also said it has filed a complaint through United Nations forces operating in the area, stating that "fire emanating from Syria into Israel will not be tolerated and shall be responded to with severity".

Israel and Syria are bitter foes who have fought several wars, but their shared border has been mostly quiet since a 1974 cease-fire. Still, Israel worries that Syria's civil war could spill across into the Golan, and repeated errant fire has intensified that concern.

Israel fears that if Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime is toppled, the country could fall into the hands of Islamic extremists or descend into sectarian warfare, destabilizing the region.

Israeli officials do not see Assad trying to intentionally draw Israel into the fighting, but have raised the possibility of his targeting Israel in an act of desperation.

They also fear that Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons or other weapons could slip into the hands of Lebanon's militant Hezbollah group - a close Syrian ally - or reach other militants if Assad loses power.

Israeli officials also worry that the frontier region could turn into a lawless area like Egypt's Sinai desert, which Islamic militants now use as a launching ground for strikes against southern Israel.

Speaking to his Cabinet on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is "closely monitoring" the border with Syria and is "ready for any development".

- AP
Read more on:    syria  |  israel  |  syria conflict
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
51 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport
 

3 sports games you have to watch this weekend

Whether it’s date night or a braai with buddies, plan around these three exciting sporting games!

 
 

Men24.com

Everyday struggles of naturally skinny guys
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...
How to maintain your mo, bro
Hottie of the day: Colette

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong focus on social interaction and connecting with your friends. You may have the need to expand and connect with a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.