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April 3, 2013 8:00 am

Israel Defense Forces Responds to Cross-Border Fire from Syria

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Israel was struck twice on Tuesday by cross-border fire from Syria. In the first incident, a mortal shell exploded in the Tel Fares area of the Golan Heights on Tuesday evening. Shortly afterward, Israeli soldiers near the Tel Hazeka military post came under fire from Syria. There were no injuries or damage in either incident, Israel Hayom reported.

The Israel Defense Forces responded with tank fire targeting the source. A direct hit on the target was confirmed, the IDF said.

The IDF informed United Nations forces stationed in the border area about the exchange of fire.

There have been several incidents of cross-border fire from Syria in recent weeks and the IDF has responded by targeting the sources on several occasions.

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“After quiet during the holiday [Passover], there was mortar and machine gun fire toward a patrol along the border fence,” IDF Spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai said on Wednesday. “In response, the IDF used precision tank fire to strike a building in the town of Beer Ajam and hit the shooting squad that had fired at the patrol.”

“Despite the fire, we don’t think there has been a significant change in the sector,” Mordechai said. “We are not a party to what is happening there [in Syria], but we must see that our interests are not harmed.”

Moshe Ya’alon, the defense minister of Israel, said on Wednesday that Israel would not permit cross-border fire from Syria, whether intentional or not, to become routine.

“The moment we identify the source of the fire, we’ll destroy it without hesitation, as we did last night and as happened in previous cases,” Ya’alon said. “From our perspective, the Syrian regime is responsible for what goes on in its territory and we won’t permit a situation in which there is fire into Israel that goes without a response.”

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