Three Syrian mortar shells have landed in Israel within the last twenty-four hours. The instability in Syria is spilling over into Israel.

Three Syrian mortar shells have landed within Israel’s Golan Heights region in the last twenty-four hours. One of them landed near the border fence this morning in Tel Fares. There were no reports of injuries or damage. The IDF claims that it was most likely fired by one of the groups fighting within Syria. On Monday evening, two other mortar shells were fired toward Israel, landing in an open area near the border fence. In all three instances, the IDF notified the UN Disengagement Border Force stationed along the Syrian-Israeli border.

Israelis who live close to the border with Syria are very much worried by the situation. Dalia Paludis, one of the founders of the Ramat Magshimim community in the Golan Heights, told Yedioth Achronot, “For 40 years we have mainly had peace and quiet here, but for two years now we have been hearing the battles. Recently it has become a real catastrophe. Because of the proximity it sounds like they are firing on our doorstep.”

She continued, “Clearly, you keep tilting your ears to that direction. You remain alert. Inside your head you realize that these are not just sounds you’re hearing. Someone is being hurt by these bombings. Even if it’s the enemy, they are human beings, children. Here you also see the world’s hypocrisy when it fails to intervene and put an end to it. We believe the government and the army are always on the lookout, and we trust them to know when action should be taken.”

Another resident of the same community reported, “There are crazy battles going on in Syria. My wife was frightened so we returned home. They are shooting at each other from village to village. The booms are loud. We are located right on the fence and can see everything.” Meanwhile, in the wake of Israel’s alleged attack upon Syria and the recent mortars being fired into Israeli territory, the IDF has deployed Iron Dome batteries in the Haifa and Safed areas, and has closed off northern Israel to air traffic until this Thursday.

Thus far, Israel has refrained from getting involved in the Syrian conflict, yet has noted that Israel will take steps to ensure that lethal weapons don’t fall into the hands of terrorist groups and will respond if Syrian mortars or rockets land within Israeli territory. As Dan Margalit wrote in Israel Hayom, “Israel has no interest in interfering in the Syrian civil war, nor does it wish to become a party to the ongoing fighting” since elements of the Syrian opposition are Islamists who are hostile toward Israel and the Israeli government fears they may rise to power if they overthrow Assad, just as the Islamists managed to come to power in Egypt and Tunisia. Yet at the same time, the Israeli government also understands that Assad’s regime is an ally of Hezbollah and the Iran-axis, which are also dedicated to Israel’s destruction.

By Rachel Avraham