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Shelling is Syria as seen from Golan Heights Photo: EPA
Shelling is Syria as seen from Golan Heights Photo: EPA
 
 

Mortar explodes near Israel-Syria border

Projectile lands on Syrian side of border fence within demilitarized zone limits. IDF says fire not directed at Israel

Maor Buchnik, Yoav Zitun
Published: 07.23.12, 20:43 / Israel News

Syria fighting edges closer: A mortar shell exploded on the Syrian side of the Israel- Syria border Monday evening.

 

The projectile landed within the demilitarized zone's limits, about 400 meters from the border fence.

 

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IDF officials said that the indicted was part of the civil war raging in Syria, stressing that the fire was not aimed at Israel.

 

The mortar shell exploded near the Syrian village of Jubata al-Khahasb, and not far from the Golan Heights Druze village of Massaada.

 

Residents of the Golan Heights as well as IDF sources said the echoes of the fighting raging in Syria are heard in Israel, with fires and smoke seen clearly from across the border.

 

Massaada's Druze residents seem ambivalent about the fighting in Syria, as some call the President Bashar Assad's opposition "rebels" and others referring to them as "terrorists."

 

Nearby Israeli communities are following the fighting the situation in Syria closely. Yigal Mimis, chief of security for Kibbutz El-Rom, told Ynet that so far, the IDF has not issued any special security directives, adding that "right now, everything is normal."

 

Meanwhile, Israel has filed a complaint with the UN over Syrian security forces of straying into the demilitarized zone between the countries.

 

In a letter to UN chief Ban Ki-moon and the UN Security Council, Ambassador Haim Waxman, Israel's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations, said the Syrian soldiers crossed into the Golan Heights area amid fighting between Syrian security forces and opposition groups on Thursday.

 

"Their action represents a blatant violation of (the 1974 ceasefire) agreement, with potentially far-reaching implications for the security and stability of the region," Waxman wrote.

 

Israel and Syria's other neighbors are increasingly fearful Syria's internal conflict could tear through an already unstable region.

 

United Nations data indicates that 17,000 people have been killed since the uprising in Syrian began, in March 2011.

 

Reuters contributed to this report

 

 

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