The Straits Times
Published on Nov 11, 2012

Israel warns Syria it will respond to more Golan shelling


JERUSALEM (REUTERS) - Israel threatened on Sunday to respond should stray Syrian ordnance continue to strike the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, highlighting international concerns that the civil war in Syria could ignite a wider regional conflict.

The remarks by Defence Minister Ehud Barak came days after Israel told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to rein in attacks on rebels near the Golan, a strategic plateau that Damascus lost to the Jewish state in the 1967 Middle East war and which had been mostly quiet for decades.

"The message has certainly been relayed. To tell you confidently that no shell will fall? I cannot. If a shell falls, we will respond," Mr Barak told Israel's Army Radio, without elaborating.

A Syrian mortar bomb, one of a salvo, hit an Israeli settlement on the Golan on Thursday but did not explode. Earlier this month, Israel complained to the United Nations after three Syrian tanks entered a Golan demilitarised zone. Israel also said a stray Syrian bullet hit one of its army jeeps on patrol.