Israel strikes Syria's Quneitra following rocket attacks


The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that Israeli strikes caused casualties among Syrian government troops

Israeli soldiers watch the flames on a mountain side in the El-Rom settlement in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on 28 June 2015, after it was hit by a rocket fired from the Syrian side (AFP)
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Last update: 
Thursday 20 August 2015 22:39 UTC

JERUSALEM - Israel struck the Syrian town of Quneitra on Thursday, with the army saying the attack came in response to rockets fired from Syria into the occupied Golan Heights and northern Israel.

Syria's official news agency SANA, meanwhile, said that an Israeli helicopter had launched rockets, hitting Quneitra's transportation directorate and governorate building.

The attack only caused material damage, SANA said.

But the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based monitoring group, said that Israel had targeted the Syrian military in Quneitra province, causing an unknown number of casualties.

Earlier, the Israeli army had warned the government in war-wracked Syria that it would "suffer the consequences" after four rockets crashed on Thursday into the north of Israel and the occupied Golan.

"This was the work of Islamic Jihad, an organisation financed and working for Iran, and we consider the Syrian government responsible for the firing and it will suffer the consequences," the army said in a statement.

It was referring to a Palestinian militant group which is based in the Gaza Strip.

The rocket fire came as Mohammed Allan, a Palestinian lawyer imprisoned by Israel who Islamic Jihad says is one of its members, ended a two-month hunger strike over his detention without trial by the Israeli authorities.

The Israeli military and security sources said four rockets fired from the Syrian-held sector of the Golan struck the occupied part of the plateau as well as the Galilee region of northern Israel, causing fires but no casualties.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Moshe Ya'alon visited northern Israel on Tuesday to meet military officials.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres of the Golan from neighbouring Syria in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it 14 years later, in a move never recognised by the international community.

Since the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011, the Golan has been tense, with a growing number of rockets and mortar rounds hitting the Israeli side, mostly stray, prompting occasional armed responses.