Israel Strikes in Syria After Rockets Fall in Lake Kinneret

Air defense systems failed to intercept two BM-21 rockets ■ Initial investigation suggests strong likelihood they were fired by ISIS

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An Iron Dome anti-missile system can be seen near the Israeli side of the border with Syria in the Golan Heights, Israel May 9, 2018.
An Iron Dome anti-missile system can be seen near the Israeli side of the border with Syria in the Golan Heights, Israel May 9, 2018.Credit: \ AMIR COHEN/ REUTERS

Israel on Wednesday conducted an air strike on a rocket launcher in Syria after two BM-21 rockets landed in Lake Kinneret, the military said. The army also used artillery to strike the surrounding area, it said. 

According to an initial investigation, there was a strong likelihood that it was ISIS who was behind the rocket fire, but it was probably aimed at Syrian forces and not at Israel. 

Israel's air defense system did not fire any interceptor missiles to counter the rockets, and the military is examining the deployment of its air defense systems in the north.

Earlier, rocket sirens were heard in the Golan Heights and residents reported hearing an explosion. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a security consultation over the telephone with the defense minister, the head of the Shin Bet security service, and the head of the National Security Council as the incident unfolded.

>>  Israel defends itself by downing Syrian jet – but won't interrupt Assad's return to the border | Analysis ■ Watch: ISIS releases video purportedly showing Syrian fighter jet downed by Israel

On Tuesday, Israel shot down a Syrian fighter jet that entered Israeli airspace. Israel's air defenses fired two Patriot missiles at the jet, saying the Russian-made Sukhoi plane fell in Syrian territory.

Following the incident, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it "a gross violation of the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement with Syria. I have reiterated and made clear that we will not accept any such violation. We will not accept any such penetration of, or spillover into, our territory, neither on the ground nor in the air. Our forces acted appropriately. We insist that the Syrians strictly abide by the Separation of Forces Agreement between us and them."

On Monday, Israel's David Sling missile-defense system saw its first operational use when it fired at two Syrian surface-to-surface missiles, the military said.

Over the past few weeks, Israel twice shot Patriot missiles at a drone approaching from Syria, the first on June 24.

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