Golan Heights residents report explosion near Syria border
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Golan Heights residents report explosion near Syria border

IDF rules out mortar hitting Israel, says incident was likely small-arms fire on other side of border

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

Residents of the Golan Heights town Alonei Habashan on Sunday reported an explosion near the perimeter fence, not far from the Syrian border.

IDF troops scanned the area in an attempt to find whether a stray mortar fired by Syrian combatants landed in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. The IDF Spokesperson’s Office told The Times of Israel that the army has dismissed the possibility of a mortar and suspects residents may have heard small-arms fire from Syria.

Earlier this month, a mortar fired during clashes between the Syrian army and rebels opposite the border landed inside Alonei Habashan. No injuries were reported. There have been several other such incidents in recent weeks. On one occasion, Israel responded by firing a sophisticated Tammuz missile near a Syrian Army position. One another occasion, the IDF fired directly back toward the source of errant fire, and several Syrian soldiers were reportedly injured.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported clashes between the Syrian army and opposition forces in the village of al-Buraykah, in the demilitarized zone separating Syria and Israel, less than 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) from Alonei Habashan.

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