Hezbollah fires rockets into Israel’s Golan Heights – IDF returns fire
Air raid sirens went off in the northern Golan Heights on Tuesday as at least two rockets launched from Syrian territory landed in the Israeli-controlled region.
No injuries or damage were reported.
An IDF source told the Ynet news site that the Shi’ite terrorist group Hezbollah was behind the rocket fire. He added that Israel holds Syria responsible, as the launches originated in its territory.
The source also said that the rockets fired were 107 mm in diameter, and that they were launched from a Syrian army position.
Speaking to diplomats Tuesday at a Holocaust memorial event, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that whoever decides to challenge Israel will find Israel is well-prepared to respond.
“They who play with fire – will be hit with fire,” Netanyahu warned.
The northern Golan returned to normal Tuesday evening, after roads to in area were closed as a precautionary measure as police searched for rocket remains, and the Mount Hermon ski slopes were evacuated. The Hermon ski site is expected to be open Wednesday.
Confirmed 2 rounds struck the Golan Heights, #IDF has instructed the evacuation of Mt. Hermon more to follow.
— Peter Lerner (@LTCPeterLerner) January 27, 2015
At least one rocket exploded in an open area near Kibbutz El-Rom, near the border with Syria. Sirens sounded in the towns of Odem, El-Rom, Buqat’a, Majdal Shams, Mas’ade, Neve Ativ, Nimrod and Ein Kinya.
The IDF returned artillery fire into Syrian territory in response to the rockets. Some 20 artillery rounds were fired into Syrian territory, scoring a direct hit. Unconfirmed reports indicated there were casualties on the Syrian side.
Lebanese media reported Israeli fighter aircraft in the skies over the Golan Heights shortly thereafter.
Sirens go off in the north, Ramat hagolan. Heightened security in area.
— Micky Rosenfeld (@MickyRosenfeld) January 27, 2015
The incident took place amid heightened tensions in northern Israel following a reported Israeli airstrike on the opposite side of the border with the Syrian Golan Heights that killed an Iranian general, a Hezbollah commander, and at least 10 others last Sunday.
Last week, in the wake of the reported attack, the IDF mobilized troops and armor to the north following Hezbollah threats of retaliation, and deployed at least three Iron Dome missile defense batteries near the northern city of Haifa.