Israeli army scores direct hits on sources of Golan fire

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Interviewed by Israel’s Army Radio earlier on Sunday, Barak was asked about public warnings he and another senior official issued to Assad last week to rein in Syrian sweeps against rebels near the Golan.

“The message has certainly been relayed. To tell you confidently that no shell will fall? I cannot. If a shell falls, we will respond,” Barak said, without elaborating.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, also speaking before Sunday’s mortar strike on the Golan, told his cabinet Israel was “closely following what is happening on our border with Syria .. and (is) prepared for any development”.

Israel captured the Golan Heights in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed the strategic plateau in 1981, a move not recognized internationally. In all past peace talks with Israel, Syria has insisted on the Golan’s return.

The two countries signed a disengagement agreement in 1974, a year after another Arab-Israeli conflict, and though they are still technically at war the Golan had been mostly quiet since.

Another Syrian mortar bomb, one of a salvo, struck a Golan settlement on Thursday but did not explode.

Separately, Israel complained to the United Nations this month after three Syrian tanks entered the Golan demilitarized zone, and said one of its army jeeps had been hit by Syrian gunfire. No one was hurt.

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