Israeli soldier injured by bullet shot from Syria

JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli soldier was hit and lightly wounded by a bullet shot from Syria.

The incident occurred Thursday morning beside an Israeli army outpost in the Golan Heights near the border with Syria. The soldier was protected by his bulletproof vest, The Jerusalem Post reported.

It was the third time this week that gunfire or rocket fire from Syria entered Israeli territory.

The live fire was believed to have been aimed at rebel forces in the Syrian civil war and not an attempt to enter into a conflict with Israel. 

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Wednesday visited the Israeli army’s Northern Command on the Golan, which he said was doing "an excellent job while monitoring the painful disintegration of the Assad regime."

"Almost all of the villages, from the foot of this ridge to the very top, are already in the hands of the Syrian rebels," Barak said. "The Command will guarantee that nobody can freely shoot at us, and that the violence will not spill over into Israeli territory.

"All of this is part of a broader preparedness for any development," he said, adding that "we need to be both vigilant and alert here; just as in other areas."

On Nov. 11, Israel fired a warning shot into Syria after a mortar shell hit an Israeli military post in the Golan — the first time that Israel has fired on Syrian territory since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. The following day, Israel fired an anti-tank missile at a Syrian military mortar crew after a mortar shell fired from Syria landed near an Israeli town in the Golan.

The Israeli military has filed complaints over the incidents with the relevant United Nations forces operating in the area.  

Last week, three mortar shells fired from Syria landed in Israel; a military vehicle on patrol in the Golan was hit by Syrian fire; and three Syrian tanks rolled into the demilitarized zone between Israel and Syria.
 

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