After Bombarding Gaza, Israel Attacks Syria’s Golan Heights

Israeli soldiers stand on top of armored military vehicles during training exercises in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, near the border with Syria, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. Syrian rebels launched a wide-ranging offensive against Syrian government positions near the Golan Heights on Wednesday, after tit-for-tat shelling in and around Damascus left at least 33 people dead, activists said. Insurgents have been on the offensive in southern Syria for the past three months, capturing military bases, villages and a border crossing point with Jordan. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Israeli soldiers stand on top of armored military vehicles during training exercises in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, near the border with Syria, Wednesday, June 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Israeli aircraft attacked a government target in Syria on Monday after claiming stray fire from fighting between government forces and rebel groups struck near the border in the Golan Heights, a Syrian territory which has been occupied by Israel since 1967.

The Israeli army itself said it believed that the mortar fire was not directed at the Israeli military in the occupied Golan but nonetheless retaliated and targeted a “Syrian army launcher.”

“Earlier, stray fire from Syrian conflict breached Israeli territory in the Golan Heights,” an Israeli military spokesperson said in a tweet. “IAF targeted Syrian Army launcher in Syrian Golan Heights, in response,” he said, referring to the attack by the Israeli Air Force.

The Syrian fire had hit an open area near the border in the Golan Heights, causing no injuries, Reuters reported. Over the past five years of the conflict in Syria, Israel has struck Syrian government targets several times.

In June, the Syrian Army said that Israel had struck one if its military posts near Homs. And in July, Israel hit two Syrian army targets in the Golan Heights in what it said was a response to stray fire from the Syrian side.

Israel has also been accused of targeting military posts of the Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah, which is fighting in Syria alongside the government of Bashar Assad.

The Israeli occupation of the Golan Heights after the 1967 Six-Day War has never been recognized by the international community. Israel, just as in Palestinian lands in the West Bank, has been colonizing the Golan Heights and building illegal settlements.

The news comes just a day after Israel opened fire on another front when it carried out up to 50 airstrikes in Gaza following an alleged rocket firing from the Palestinian territory that left no injuries.

Some argued that the latest attack on Gaza was “muscle flexing” by new far-right and anti-Arab Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman just two months after he was appointed.

 

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