Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (C) and IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz (R) with IDF soldiers..
(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said the Assad regime is responsible for Sunday's cross-border missile attack, which prompted the IDF to strike nine Syrian army targets early on Monday.
"We see the regime of Bashar Assad and the Syrian military as responsible for what occurs in the territory under their control, and we will respond aggressively and harshly against any provocation and violation of our sovereignty," Ya'alon said in a statement.
Ya'alon warned forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad, Syrian opposition forces and terrorist elements operating in the country alike, against attempts to harm Israeli citizens and IDF forces.
He warned of a heavy price for anyone in Syria trying to disrupt Israeli lives amid the ongoing civil war between the Syrian government and rebel forces seeking to topple Assad.
The defense minister also sent his condolences to the family of Muhammad Karaka, who was killed
when an anti-tank missile from Syria hit the civilian vehicle belonging to his father, a contractor for the Defense Ministry.
In the early hours of Monday, in response to the incident that claimed the first Israeli casualty from violence in Syria, Israeli jets and artillery "Tamuz" missiles struck nine targets belonging to the Syrian military.
Israel has still not identified which organization fired the missile, but its investigation has led it to conclude that the Syrian military bears responsibility for the area from which the attack was launched.
Karaka, from the lower Galilee village of Arrabe, had been accompanying his father, Fahmi, on his first day of summer vacation.
IDF tanks immediately returned fire at Syrian Army positions in response to what an IDF source said appeared to be a deliberate attack on the truck.
While the Syrian army has a presence on the Golan, some areas are controlled by rebels fighting to topple President Bashar Assad, including al-Qaida-inspired radicals such as Jabhat Al-Nusra and ISIS.