At least two mortar shells were fired into northern Israel from Syria early Tuesday afternoon, after a series of explosions sounded in the central Golan Heights area.
The shells fell in a field outside Kibbutz Ein Zivan and caused neither casualties nor damage.
In an initial response, the IDF assessed that the shells had not been fired intentionally, but were rather spillover from battles raging in the area between the Syrian army and rebels.
“The multiple explosions heard in the Golan Heights were most likely errant fire from the internal fighting in Syria,” the army said in a statement.
The shells triggered alerts in many nearby towns, including Katzrin, Neve Ativ, Kfar Blum, Majdal Shams and the Hula Valley, minutes after 12 p.m., sending residents scrambling for shelters.
“As a result of spillover from fighting between rebels and the Syrian army, several mortar shells fell in the Quneitra valley,” the Golan Regional Council said in a statement.
“In keeping with the IDF directives, farmers in the area of the Quneitra valley are urged to go back out” to their fields, the statement said.
The area has seen heightened tension in recent days.
On Sunday night, an Israeli airstrike targeted and killed a group of militants who were spotted placing an explosive on the northern border, a day after an alleged Israeli airstrike on Hezbollah positions in Syria.
The attempted bombing may have been a bid by Lebanese terror group Hezbollah to avenge a reported Israeli attack on several targets in Syria and Lebanon last week. The border area in that section is controlled by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad, Army Radio said.
In March, an Israeli army officer was wounded by gunfire from the Syrian side of the Golan Heights in what was believed to have been a deliberate attack.
Last June, a cross-border attack in the Golan Heights killed a 15-year-old boy and injured three people. Mohammed Karkara, from the town of Arraba in the Lower Galilee, was killed in the attack and his father, a civilian contractor, and two others were injured after their vehicle exploded while delivering water to workers on the border fence.
There have also been multiple instances of stray fire hitting inside Israeli territory, amid fierce battles in and around nearby Quneitra between Syrian regime forces and rebels.