IDF soldiers fired at armed suspects crossing the 1974 ceasefire line in the Golan Heights along the Syrian border, the military said Sunday night.
No Israeli forces were wounded in the incident and it is still unclear whether the gunmen were hit.
The military is working to determine whether the gunmen’s intentions, if they intended to cross into Israeli territory or had been planning to fire at it or if they did not know they were approaching the border.
“The IDF will continue to operate against violations of Israeli sovereignty and of the 1974 Separation of Forces Agreement,” read a statement released by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.
Israel captured the Golan Heights, some 1,200 square kilometers, from Syria during the Six Day War in 1967 and unilaterally annexed in 1981. Under the 1974 ceasefire accord signed following the Yom Kippur War the previous year, a buffer zone was established between the two enemy countries. It was patrolled by UN troops until peacekeepers were abducted by Syrian rebels in 2014.
Syrian troops recaptured southern Syria, including the Quneitra province in July, seven years after losing the area to rebel groups. UN Peacekeepers also returned to the area for the first time in early August, as well as Russian military police who have been deployed along the Golan Heights border.
The following month, seven Islamic State group terrorists were killed by Israel in the Syria-Jordan-Israel border triangle area as they were fleeing the offensive to recapture the area by Bashar Assad’s regime. According to Israel, the terrorists came as close as 200 meters from the border when IDF troops engaged with them.
The next morning, troops from the Nahal Brigade searched the area and found the terrorists’ bodies as well as five AK-47 assault rifles, bullet-proof vests, grenades and what looked to be suicide belts. While the army could not “unequivocally” say what the cell planned to do, it is believed that they were planning an attack against Israel.
On Monday, Syria’s official news agency SANA reported that regime troops operating in the Quneitra province found a significant number of weapons hidden by rebel fighters, including Israeli-made weapons and medical equipment.
According to the report, the arms found included anti-tank missiles, mortar launchers, rifles, machine-guns as well as a large number of protective masks, landmines, satellite broadcast devices and huge amounts of ammunition. An armored vehicle, medicine and medical equipment for surgical operations were also found.