A mortar shell fired from Syria landed on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights early Thursday morning, the latest cross border incident after several weeks of calm.
There were no reports of injuries or damage from the rocket, which landed just over the border, according to Army Radio.
IDF troops are scanning the area to identify where the mortar struck, the station reported.
Mortar shells have struck Israel several times over the past year as fighting in the Syrian civil war has spilled over into Israel, though they largely tailed off during June. The rockets and small arms fire are usually assumed to be errant strikes, but Damascus recently boasted that it had retaliated against Israel for reported air strikes against Damascus weapons sites.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has vowed to respond to spillover of the Syrian civil war into Israel, and the IDF has shot at Syrian army positions in the past after cross-border fire incidents.
The Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, which has taken an increasing active role in defending Syrian President Bashar Assad, threatened recently to open up a new front against Israel in the Golan Heights. In May, a separate terror group claimed responsibility for the firing of mortars on Mount Hermon, which straddles the border.
Heavy fighting along the border with Israel has spurred the retreat of contingents of the UN peacekeeping force stationed there. On Wednesday, the UN and US said the withdrawal of the Philippine UNDOF group, which has been suggested by Manilla, would bring “maximum volatility” to the region.
Earlier in the month, Austria withdrew its force after heavy fighting in the area around Quneitra, with rebel forces briefly capturing the sole border crossing between Israel and Syria.
Philippines Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said Wednesday that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry appealed to him not to withdraw his troops in recent talks. He said he told them security for the forces should be bolstered for the Philippines to consider keeping them in the volatile buffer zone between Syria and Israel.
“I mentioned that we thought that the exposure was beyond tolerable limits for our people but we’re willing to reconsider and make a new assessment if the security and safety of our peacekeepers would be upgraded,” del Rosario said.
Ban has proposed expanding the peacekeeping force to 1,250, and British Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, president of the UN Security Council, said Tuesday there is strong support in the council for the idea, adding Fiji will likely send troops by the end of July to replace the Austrian peacekeepers. The U.N. force was established in 1974 to monitor the disengagement of Israeli and Syrian forces in the Golan.
The 342 Filipino troops now in the Golan Heights will stay in the region up to August 3, when they need to be replaced by a fresh batch. But del Rosario said the Philippines may withdraw from the peacekeeping mission if no additional safeguards are put in place to ensure their safety.
The Philippines has deployed an assessment team to the Golan Heights to take “a good look as to under what conditions we may be able to stay and not withdraw,” del Rosario said.