Shell Hits Golan, Injured Syrians Leave Israeli Hospital
A stray mortar shell landed Wednesday in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, the army said, while also reporting that six wounded Syrians receiving treatment in Israel have been discharged from hospital.
"We found a shell in the central Golan Heights," a military spokesman said after troops saw smoke rising near an Israeli town in the central sector of the strategic plateau which borders war-torn Syria.
It was the first time in nearly three months that a shell had slammed into the Israeli side of the Golan, without causing injuries or damage.
Such incidents have been sporadic but have increased over the past six months as violence from the civil war in Syria spilled across the ceasefire line.
On February 16, seven Syrian nationals who were wounded in the fighting over the border were allowed to cross into Israel where they received treatment at Ziv hospital in the northern Galilee town of Safed.
Six of them were discharged from hospital on Wednesday and returned to Syria while the seventh stayed behind for further treatment, the military said.
"Following completion of their medical treatment, six of the seven injured Syrians that received medical aid in Israel have been released today," it said.
They were returned "at an undisclosed location for their own safety" while an additional Syrian "who is severely wounded, remains hospitalized for further treatment."
In recent months, there have been several instances of gunfire or mortar shells landing on the Israeli side of the plateau, prompting troops in November to respond with artillery in the first such instance of Israeli fire towards the Syrian military since the 1973 war.
Israel seized the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed it in 1981, in a move never recognized by the international community.
It is currently upgrading its security fence along its armistice line with the work expected to be finished by the end of the year.