Israel returns fire after vehicle hit in the Golan: no casualties reported

Published May 21st, 2013 - 07:59 GMT
Israeli soldiers in the occupied Golan Heights (AFP)
Israeli soldiers in the occupied Golan Heights (AFP)

Israeli soldiers patrolling the disputed Golan Heights along the border with Syria fired back after coming under fire overnight Monday, an Israeli Defense Force statement said, reporting a “direct hit.”

“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. No one had been wounded, it added.

“In response, IDF forces returned precise fire at the source of the gunfire. They reported a direct hit,” the statement added.

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

The Golan Heights have been tense since the beginning of the conflict in Syria more than two years ago.

However, there have been only minor flare-ups in the region to date, with Syrian shells crashing in the occupied Golan and Israel firing in retaliation.

The attack on Tuesday follows similar reports of shots fired from Syria on the Golan Heights on Monday, where an Al Arabiya reporter said the shots hit near an Israeli military patrol.

An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed that shots were fired, but she said it was not clear whether the gunfire was intentional.

The shots were “most likely were stray bullets, we don’t know if it was intentional,” the spokeswoman told AFP news agency, adding that the Israeli army had not fired back and that Israel had submitted a complaint to the United Nations force in the region.

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