JERUSALEM (JTA) – The Israeli military’s chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, warned that Syria would pay the price if it continues to attack Israel.
Syrian President Bashar Assad “guides and encourages the widening of activity against Israel, in various dimensions and via the Golan Heights,” Gantz said Tuesday, hours after Syria fired on and damaged an Israeli army jeep, and Israel retaliated with a missile attack. “We will not allow the area of the Golan Heights to become a comfortable place for Assad.
“If Assad impairs the situation in the Golan Heights, he will have to bear the consequences,” the military chief warned at ceremony at Haifa University.
No one was injured when Syria opened fire on an Israeli army patrol early Tuesday morning in the Golan Heights, the Israel Defense Forces said. It was the third time this week that Syria targeted Israeli positions.
In retaliation, the IDF said an Israeli missile struck the source of Tuesday’s gunfire.
The IDF lodged a complaint with the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, a peacekeeping force that was established in 1974.
The Syrian military claimed in a statement issued Tuesday that its military destroyed an Israeli military vehicle and its occupants. The statement said the jeep crossed the cease-fire line in the Golan Heights.
Gantz said that the nighttime patrol was clearly patroling along the border fence and did not cross into Syrian territory. Earlier Tuesday, Gantz toured the Israeli-Syrian border and talked with the soldiers and commanders of the Nahal Brigade who are stationed there.
Israeli troops manning a border observation point in the Golan Heights were fired on Sunday and Monday. The Israelis did not retaliate but lodged a separate complaint with the U.N. observer force.
Also Tuesday, Israel transferred an injured Syrian national from the border to a hospital in northern Israel for surgery to treat shrapnel wounds.