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Shots fired after Syrian shell hits northern Israel

    A Syrian rebel in Aleppo
    A Syrian rebel in Aleppo

    The Israeli army has scored “direct hits” on Syrian targets in response to a shell fired from Syria, an IDF statement says.

    A shell was fired from Syria into northern Israel on Monday, in one of the first major instances of the conflict between Assad's supporters and rebel forces spreading to its Jewish neighbour.

    The mortar shell hit the Tel Azaka IDF post in the Golan Heights, although it did not cause any damage or injuries. It was believed to have been fired unintentionally, but it marked the fifth time in a fortnight that the Syrian fighting has spread across to Israeli territory.

    The Israeli military reported the incident to the United Nations and returned fire. “IDF soldiers fired tank shells towards the source of the fire, confirming direct hits,” the IDF statement said.

    The retaliation, the first shots to be fired by Israel into Syria since the Yom Kippur War in 1973, came as the south of the country was hit by a barrage of rocket fire from inside Gaza.

    The Israeli prime minister told the cabinet meeting that Israel would not sit idly by in the face of attempts to attack the country.

    He said: "We are closely monitoring what is happening on our border with Syria and there we are also ready for any development."

    Defence Minister Ehud Barak said Israel would not hesitate to go back into the Gaza Strip to tackle the growing violence against Israel, should that be necessary.

    Earlier this month Mr Barak stressed that Israel would act if necessary to Syrian weapons falling into the hands of Lebanese terrorist organisation Hizbollah. But Israeli officials and politicians have

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