Source: The Jerusalem Post
Just hours earlier, Defense Minister Ehud Barak threatened that Israel would respond should stray Syrian ordnance continue to strike the Golan Heights, highlighting international concerns that the civil war in Syria could ignite a wider regional conflict.
“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, in an interview with Army Radio.
At the Sunday cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Israel was closely following events along the Syrian border, and was prepared for all possibilities on that front.
Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter said Israel needed “nerves of steel” to deal with the instability in Syria. He added that there was nowhere for Israel to respond, due to the chaos over the border.
The incidents “require a level-headed response from Israeli authorities,” Dichter said.
Sunday’s scuffle came a week after three Syrian tanksentered the demilitarized zone on the Golan Heights on Saturday afternoon, and remained there for several hours into the evening. The tanks, which were involved in heavy clashes with Syrian rebels, encroached the decades-old cease-fire agreement between Jerusalem and Damascus.
Turkey has retaliated against errant mortar shells and violent spillover from Syrian infighting in recent weeks as well.