Syria and Israel exchange fire in Golan Heights

Israeli infantry soldiers of the Golani brigade take part in exercises during their deployment in the Israeli annexed Golan Heights, near the border with Syria, on 6 May 2013. (Photo: AFP - Menahem Kahana)

Published Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Israeli soldiers in the occupied Golan Heights fired towards Syria after coming under fire overnight, the army said Tuesday.

"Overnight, shots were fired at an IDF patrol on the border in the central Golan Heights, damaging a military vehicle," said a statement on the army's website.

"In response, IDF forces returned precise fire at the source of the gunfire. They reported a direct hit," the statement added, without giving further details on its target.

The statement said a military vehicle was damaged by shots fired from Syria but that there were no injuries.

"The IDF views the recent incidents in the north with concern and has lodged a complaint with UNDOF," the UN Disengagement Force responsible for patrolling that area.

Israel's Army Radio said Tuesday's was the third consecutive cross-border shooting this week.

Early on Monday, the army reported that small-arms fire from Syria hit the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights overnight, causing no harm or damage. The army also filed a complaint with the UN force on that occasion.

Last week projectiles from Syria hit Mount Hermon, causing the popular site on the Israeli-occupied Golan to close down to visitors.

Israel is believed to have carried out three airstrikes allegedly targeting arms shipments in Syrian territory.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometers of the strategic Golan Heights during the 1967 Six-Day War, which it later annexed, a move never recognized by the international community.

Negotiations aimed at resolving that conflict ran aground in 2000.

(AFP, Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

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