Israeli soldiers patrol the border fence between the Golan Heights and Syria next to the Druze village of Majdal Shams
Israeli soldiers patrol the border fence between the Golan Heights and Syria next to the Druze village of Majdal Shams, on June 3, 2011. The Israeli military has confirmed that mortar fire from inside war-torn Syria landed in the Golan Heights. © Jack Guez - AFP/File
Israeli soldiers patrol the border fence between the Golan Heights and Syria next to the Druze village of Majdal Shams
AFP
Last updated: July 16, 2013

Syria mortar fire hits Israeli-occupied Golan

Mortar fire from inside Syria hit the Israeli side of the Golan Heights on Tuesday, causing several fires to break out along the ceasefire line, an AFP correspondent reported.

The shells strayed across the border as Syrian rebels and regime forces battled near Quneitra, which lies in no-man's land, the correspondent reported.

Israeli tanks were stationed in the area.

An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed that "several mortar rounds fired from Syria exploded in northern Golan." She said it was likely stray fire and there were no casualties.

Late Tuesday, however, shots were fired toward Israeli soldiers on the border although there were again no casualties, an army spokeswoman said, adding that troops returned fire and searched the area.

Israel's UN envoy Ron Prosor called on the Security Council to condemn the Syrian action, which he called a "grave violation" of a 1974 ceasefire accord between Israel and Syria.

In a letter to the council, Prosor said Israel has so far shown "maximum restraint" over fallout from the Syria conflict.

But he warned "the Israeli government will not allow its citizens to be the ongoing victims of these attacks and will continue to exercise its right to self-defense."

The Golan has been tense since the Syrian uprising began in March 2011.

Syrian small arms fire and mortar rounds have hit the Israeli side, prompting an occasional Israeli response, while abductions and incidents involving UN peacekeepers inside the Golan ceasefire zone have caused international concern.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the strategic plateau during the 1967 Six Day War, which it later annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.

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