Several mortar shells have fallen inside Israeli territory since the launch of a rebel offensive centered around the Syria border city of Quneitra.
Fighting in the Syrian Golan Heights, adjacent to the Israeli border, between President Bashar al-Assad’s army and various factions of rebels intensified Monday morning, as Assad’s forces are trying to retake the Quneitra border crossing it had lost to the rebels in the past days. Assad’s forces lost control of the area last week and launched a fierce counterattack to retake the region.
As has happened several times recently, the fire has spilled over into Israel, as a mortar shell struck an open area. No injuries or damage were reported. IDF officials believe that the mortar was not targeted at Israel, and IDF forces have not returned fire so far.
The fighting is taking place yards away from the Israeli border fence, and can be seen and heard by Israeli citizens in the Golan. The IDF has evacuated farmers from fields near the fighting and has shut down a few roads for travel to eliminate possible casualties form the intensifying fire.
Mortar Shells Slam into Israeli Territory
Several mortar shells have fallen inside Israeli territory since the launch of a rebel offensive centered around the Syria border city of Quneitra. Last Wednesday morning, six mortar shells slammed into Israeli territory from Syria, moderately wounding an IDF officer. Later on in the day, one Israeli was lightly wounded by tank fire in the area.
The incident follows the shooting down of a Syrian drone on Sunday by IDF forces, after it strayed into Israeli airspace.
Meanwhile, some 45 Fijian UN peacekeepers are still being held captive by the al-Qaeda-affiliated Al- Nusra Front, and the head of the Fijian army said on Sunday that negotiations for their release were being pursued. Some 70 Filipino soldiers made a dramatic escape into Israel earlier on in the week.
Author: Aryeh Savir
Staff Writer, United with Israel