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Explosions heard in Golan Heights

IDF scanning area for mortars; seven injured Syrians transferred to Israel hospitals

Israelis and tourists look at a fire, caused by fighting in Syria, from an observation point on Mt. Bental in the Golan Heights, near the border between the Golan Heights and Syria, Friday, June 7, 2013. (photo credit: AP/Sebastian Scheiner)
Israelis and tourists look at a fire, caused by fighting in Syria, from an observation point on Mt. Bental in the Golan Heights, near the border between the Golan Heights and Syria, Friday, June 7, 2013. (photo credit: AP/Sebastian Scheiner)

Several loud explosions were heard in the Golan Heights Saturday morning, prompting IDF forces to scan the area to investigate whether mortars were fired into the area from Syria.

No casualties or damage were reported, and the IDF issued no special security instructions for residents of the area.

Since the start of the civil war in Syria, dozens of errant mortar shells have landed in Israeli territory. In the past Israel filed a complaint with the UN peacekeeping forces in the Golan, requesting they bring an end to the cross-border shelling. Occasionally, Israel has shot missiles at Syrian army positions in response to incidents of errant mortar fire.

Last month, after 10 mortars landed in Israeli territory, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon warned that Israel will not hesitate to respond to fire with fire. “Once attacks from Syria endanger us or violate our sovereignty — we will identify the source of fire and destroy it,” Ya’alon said.

Meanwhile, Israeli doctors at Nahariya’s Galilee Medical Center on Saturday treated four Syrian citizens injured in clashes. One of the men was in serious condition, suffering from head and chest wounds. The others suffered shrapnel wounds to the face and limbs and were reportedly in moderate condition.

Three other Syrians, in their early twenties, were taken to Sieff Hospital in Safed suffering from gunshot and shrapnel wounds.

Israel has treated upwards of 100 Syrians in its hospitals since the start of the civil war.

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