Israeli soldiers stand near the border with Syria in the Golan Heights.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
An Israeli air strike against a Syrian military outpost in the Golan Heights killed one soldier and wounded seven, a Syrian army source said on Friday, during the heaviest night of Israeli bombardment since the start of Syria's four-year-old conflict.
State television said Israeli jets attacked a base on Thursday night in the Quneitra area, near the Israeli-occupied section of the Golan region.
The IDF said it retaliated
against rockets that hit an Israeli village near the Lebanese border on Thursday afternoon, setting off fires but causing no casualties. According to the IDF, two missiles hit the Golan Heights and another two fell in the Upper Galilee.
Israel accused Iran and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad
of deliberately orchestrating the rocket attack.
“We have credible information that the attack was carried out by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Organization and was facilitated and directed by an Iranian operative Saeed Izaddhi, who heads the Palestinian unit in the IRGC QODS force [part of the Iranian National Guard],” Israel said in a message it delivered to the six world powers.
The message was authorized by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and sent out by the Foreign Ministry.
Dawoud Shehab, an Islamic Jihad spokesman in Gaza, denied the group had fired on Israel from the Syrian Golan.
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“Israel is trying to divert attention from the defeat that it suffered in the face of the determination of the hero prisoner, Mohammed Allan," Shehab told Reuters.
A UK based monitor and defence experts who track Syria said the Israeli raids on Thursday against several major army bases in the area were the heaviest attacks on Syrian army targets since the start of the crisis in 2011.
Previous attacks have mainly targeted supply routes and arms depots of Syrian President Bashar al Assad's Lebanese ally Hezbollah inside Syria.
Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon said the rocket fire from Syria was a result of a more aggressive Iranian policy following a nuclear deal signed between Tehran and the West that Israel says has emboldened its archenemy.
He challenged Tehran not to test "our determination".
"What we've seen overnight is the prelude of things to come, following the signing of the nuclear agreement and the lifting of sanctions. An Iran that can funnel additional funds and weapons to terror organizations operating against Israel and Western interests in the region," Yaalon said
Yaalon said Syrian army targets were hit alongside "firing on the area from where the missiles were launched," but did not give any details.
Separately, the IDF said its air and artillery strikes hit 14 Syrian military sites on the Syrian Golan.
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