Last updated: 20 August, 2015

Israel threatens Syria with response after rocket fire

The Israeli army warned the government in war-wracked Syria it will “suffer the consequences” after four rockets crashed Thursday into the north of the Jewish state 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 detainee 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 Islamic Jihad denied the military’s accusation, saying it was not behind the rocket fire.

“This is an attempt by the (Israeli) occupier to turn attention away from the crimes its is committing against the Palestinian prisoners, and in particular Mohammed Allan,” a statement by the group said.

Meanwhile, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group reported that the Israeli army had launched strikes on regime positions in the Syrian-held sector of the Golan.

Syrian troops were killed in the strikes, according to the Observatory.

There was no immediate confirmation from the Israeli military.

Earlier the Israeli army 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 Yaalon visited northern Israel on Tuesday to meet military officials.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) 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.