Israel will react forcefully to any violation of its territory, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Cabinet Sunday, a day after Israel attacked Syrian Army tanks in response to mortar fire into the Golan Heights.
“The IDF attacked Syrian army positions yesterday in response to mortar fire into Israeli territory. Our policy is very clear, we will not accept any drizzle of fire – not mortars, not rockets and not light weapons – on any front,” Netanyahu said, “We will react forcefully to any violation of our territory.”
The IDF released aerial video footage Saturday showing air force strikes on two Syrian Army tanks and a machine gun position after some 10 projectiles had landed in the Golan Heights in what it called an “unacceptable breach of sovereignty.”
According to reports from Syria, two Syrian Army soldiers were killed in the strikes. IDF sources said the projectile fire into the Golan Heights resulted from spillover from fighting between rebel forces and troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported heavy shelling between pro-Assad forces and rebels around the town of Quneitra near the border.
Netanyahu also issued an explicit warning to Iran, saying Israel took “very seriously any attempt by Iran to gain a military foothold in Syria and to arm Hezbollah with advanced weaponry via Syria and Lebanon.”
Education Minister Naftali Bennett, the leader of the right-wing Jewish Home party, added that reacting immediately to violations of Israel’s sovereignty is the way to guard against full-blown military conflict.
“During the weekend, Syrian fire veered into Israeli territory,” Bennett said. “We have an interest of preventing armed conflict with Syria and with other potential adversaries. The way to do so is by reacting immediately and clearly, regarding any violation of our sovereignty and borders.”