Mortar Shell From Syria Lands Near Israeli Border

In second incident this week, a mortar shell lands close to border in northern Golan Heights; IDF: It is the result of fighting between Syrian army and rebels.

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A mortar shell from Syria landed Monday near the Israeli border in the northern Golan Heights, a few days following a similar incident after which Israel filed a formal complaint with the UN.

The mortar shell landed on Monday afternoon in the demilitarized zone between Israel and Syria. The shell landed east of the Druz village of Mas'ada, which is located near the border with Syria.

"It seems to be linked to the battle which began last Wednesday in the Syrian village of Jubata Al Khashab, between the Syrian army and the rebels," a Mas'ada resident said, adding that the Syrian army entered the village after a number of policemen were killed by the rebels.

"We heard the gunshots on Thursday and Friday very well there were sounds of automatic gunfire," he said, noting that the past couple of days were quiet and that the landing of the mortar shell Monday seemed unusual.

An IDF source said that the shelling was intended to hit the rebel forces, and it landed in the demilitarized zone is as a result of a miscalculation of the Syrian forces, who are located in a village not far from the border.

The source noted that in the next round between the army and the rebels, a mortar shell could easily land on the Israeli side of the border, adding that IDF soldiers stationed at the border are prepared for such possibility.

This incident comes a few days after a similar incident occurred, although the shell which landed Monday was closer, dozens of meters from the border.

In the past few months, the IDF and its Northern Command expressed concern over the weakening of the Syrian authority close to the frontier.

Syrian army battles the rebel forces near the border with Israel, July 19, 2012.Credit: Gil Eliyahu