An Israeli soldier sleeps in a bunker in a training area in the Golan Heights on October 16, 2013
An Israeli soldier sleeps in a bunker in a training area in the Golan Heights on October 16, 2013 © Menahem Kahana - AFP/File
An Israeli soldier sleeps in a bunker in a training area in the Golan Heights on October 16, 2013
AFP
Last updated: December 3, 2013

Israel sends humanitarian aid to Syria

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Israel has sent humanitarian aid to neighbouring Syria, Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said Tuesday during a visit to the tense frontier.

"We've sent food, water, baby food and other humanitarian products," he told reporters.

"We cannot remain idle when civilians are being confronted by a humanitarian crisis," he said, without elaborating on how the aid was delivered.

Yaalon was visiting the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights a day after soldiers fired back after an attack from the Syrian side of the ceasefire line, which was formalised after the 1973 Arab-Israeli war and had been mostly quiet until the Syrian uprising erupted in 2011.

"Monday's incident was started by a Syrian soldier who fired at an Israeli military position ... Whoever questions our sovereignty will pay the price," he said.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the strategic plateau during the 1967 Six Day War and annexed it in 1981 in a move not recognised internationally. Syria has always insisted on its return as part of any peace treaty with the Jewish state.

The Israeli-occupied sector of the strategic plateau has been tense since the start of the Syrian conflict, but there have only been minor flare-ups as Syrian small arms fire or mortar rounds hit the Israeli side, prompting Israel to respond occasionally.

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