Israel launches missile at Syrian border

March 24, 2013 at 10:09 AM

JERUSALEM, March 24 (UPI) -- Two Syrian soldiers were wounded Sunday when Israeli forces launched a missile into Syrian territory in response to two instances of gunfire, officials said.

Gunfire coming from the Syrian side of the border hit an Israeli military vehicle Saturday during a routine patrol of the Golan Heights, Haaretz reported. A second round of gunfire from Syria hit the same area in Israel Sunday morning.

No Israelis were injured in either incident.

Officials said it was unclear if the Israeli military was the target of the gunfire or if the bullets were strays from rebel and military fighting in Syria.

In either instance, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said he viewed the gunfire as a "severe" incident.

"We view the fire from Syria last night and this morning at [Israel Defense Forces] troops in Israeli territory as severe. The IDF responded in accordance with government policy: Every breach of Israeli sovereignty and each firing from the Syrian side will be met with an immediate response to silence the source of fire as we identify them. We see the Syrian regime as being responsible for every violation of our sovereignty," a statement from his office said.

The Golan Heights is an Israeli-controlled region near the border with Syria. The United Nations has patrolled the area since a cease-fire ended the 1973 October War.

Some Israelis are concerned Syrian infighting may disrupt the relative calm in Golan Heights maintained for the past four decades, The Jerusalem Post reported.

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