Israel strikes Syria after mortar shell lands in Golan
Israel responded with tank fire into Syria on Thursday after a Syrian mortar shell landed in the Israeli-occupied part of the Golan Heights, the army said.
The two countries are technically at war, although the border has remained largely quiet for decades until 2011, when the Syrian conflict broke out.
The Israeli side of the occupied Golan Heights is hit sporadically by what are usually deemed to be stray rounds, and Israel routinely opens fire in retaliation.
"In response to the projectile that hit Israel earlier today, the Israel Defence Forces targeted the sources of fire in the Syrian Golan Heights," it said in an English-language statement.
It said the mortar shell landed on open ground and caused no injuries, without identifying the source of fire or whether it was considered deliberate or not.
Speaking shortly afterwards in the Jordan Valley, part of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu implied that the Syrian shell was a stray but said it was nevertheless unacceptable.
"We do not accept spillovers and if they hit us we return fire - and it doesn't take much time," his office quoted him as saying in Hebrew.
On Monday, Israel carried out an airstrike on an anti-aircraft battery in Syria after the battery fired on its planes during surveillance flights over neighbouring Lebanon.
Israel has sought to avoid becoming directly involved in the six-year civil war in Syria, though it acknowledges carrying out dozens of airstrikes to stop what it calls advanced arms deliveries to Lebanese Shia group Hizballah.
The group, against which Israel fought a devastating 2006 war, is militarily backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime in the conflict.
Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres of the Golan Heights from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it, a move never recognised by the international community.