Blast Wounds 4 Israeli Troops in Golan, Netanyahu Vows 'Forceful' Response

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A bomb along the Syria-Israel frontier in the occupied Golan Heights on Tuesday wounded four Israeli soldiers, the Israeli army said, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Israel would act "forcefully."

The army said in a statement that "an explosive device was detonated against IDF (Israeli military) soldiers patrolling the Israeli-Syrian border," adding that several soldiers were wounded in the attack.

In remarks to Agence France Presse, security sources confirmed the bombing, saying the explosion damaged an army jeep as it drove near the ceasefire line with Syria, outside the Druze town of Majdal Shams.

The Israeli media had earlier said the wounded soldiers sustained light to moderate injuries.

"The blast that hit the Israeli army jeep was apparently caused by a roadside bomb planted near the border fence in Majdal Shams. Israeli forces responded to the blast with artillery fire and the army said it hit several targets," the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

Israel said it fired shells at Syrian army posts and sent strong-worded warnings to the Syrian government through U.N. forces in the wake of the blast.

Although there was no immediate claim of responsibility, analysts pointed to similarities with an explosion last week targeting troops along the Lebanese border, which was blamed on Hizbullah, and a similar attempt in the Golan on March 5.

An Israeli security source said Tuesday's incident targeted a patrol driving along the ceasefire line near the Druze town of Majdal Shams.

"The soldiers were in a jeep near the fence and they saw something suspicious, so they got out and that's when the device went off," the source told Agence France Presse.

The Israeli army confirmed four soldiers had been wounded by an explosive device, prompting troops to open fire on Syrian military positions.

"We view the Syrian army as responsible for this incident... this indicates our response to the attack," military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner told reporters, saying it was the most serious incident on the Golan since the outbreak of the Syrian uprising in March 2011.

He was unable to confirm whether or not Hizbullah had been involved in the blast, which he said struck "adjacent to the fence, east of Majdal Shams, in the area under Israeli sovereignty."

Meanwhile, Netanyahu said Israel will act "forcefully" to defend itself.

"We will act forcefully to preserve Israel's security," he said in remarks broadcast on army radio, saying there were an increasing number of jihadists and Lebanese Hizbullah fighters on the Syrian side of the strategic plateau.

Israel occupied the Golan in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed it in 1981 in a move never recognized by the international community.

The bombing came four days after the blast targeting Israeli troops on the Lebanese border, very close to Syria, which prompted Israel to shell Hizbullah positions over the border.

On March 5, the Israeli army said troops on the Golan had opened fire on Hizbullah members as they tried to plant a bomb near the ceasefire line. It claimed to have struck the two fighters but did not say what weapon it used or whether they died.

Hizbullah did not comment on the incident.

Analysts linked the escalation in border tensions to a February 24 air strike which targeted a Hizbullah position in Lebanon, close to the Syrian border, which the group blamed on Israel.

If confirmed, it would be the first Israeli attack against Hizbullah inside Lebanon since their 2006 war, which killed more than 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and some 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

Hizbullah had vowed to respond to the air strike.

"Israel has assessed that Hizbullah would attempt to find a way to express its displeasure, to put it mildly," wrote defense expert Alex Fishman in Israel's Yediot Aharonot newspaper earlier this week.

He said last week's attack was "a message" to Israel that it could not attack Hizbullah positions with impunity, saying: "You overdid it. When you bomb our weapons convoys in Syria, you are dealing with the Syrians. In Lebanon, you're dealing with us."

Comments 26
Thumb popeye 18 March 2014, 15:29

the terror party keeps poking at Israel and will drag us into another cycle of death and destruction.

Thumb geha 18 March 2014, 15:40

at this stage of things: both hizbushaitan and Israel need a small war to delay issues they are having.
for the Israelis: peace with Palestinians. they just preder to at least delay it stopping the US pressure on them.
for hizbushaitan: a war would justify its weapons.

Thumb ice-man 18 March 2014, 16:24

@foreclosure: do you play poker?

Thumb ice-man 18 March 2014, 16:41

what do you mean "ever heard of the legal principle"??? He is a living proof of its existence

Thumb kanaanljdid 18 March 2014, 21:32

Having temporary common interests on some issues (both Israel and Hizbullah are opposed to Sunni terrorism and Al Qaida) doesn't mean they are allies. This is a non-sense to say that, as it is a non-sense to consider that Al-Qaida is allied with Israel.

Default-user-icon muhami (Guest) 19 March 2014, 02:36

you are not very friendly. You must be a big "istaz" are you Fouad Boutros?

Default-user-icon True Lebanese (Guest) 18 March 2014, 16:26

ibinharithreik the sunnis have Jawaz Mizyar (short term) and Misyaf (long term summer length). The christians have selling themselves to the khalijis for the summer.

I suggest you choose another topic because moral decay exists everywhere.

Arent you the gimps that have been complaining all this time that Israel has never been attacked in the Golan?? Now you are getting your wish and you still cry like a little girl with a skinned knee...

Thumb ex-fpm 18 March 2014, 16:38

27 minutes ago Israeli PM Netanyahu said Israel will act "forcefully" to protect itself after the Golan blast.

I have no doubt there will be some serious retaliation.....

Thumb ice-man 18 March 2014, 18:55

@flamethrower: have you ever been in love?

Thumb ice-man 18 March 2014, 16:45

@southern: do you like romantic novels?

Thumb ice-man 18 March 2014, 16:53

at least they speak proper English)

Thumb ice-man 18 March 2014, 16:54

address him as Karim if you may

Thumb ice-man 18 March 2014, 17:04

I did some background checks on him already. Apparently, he has been refused entry into the United States for security reasons. His IP indicates he is posting from an underground bunker 10 miles northwest of Qom.

Thumb lebanon_first 18 March 2014, 17:14

Southern is a lebanese patriot who wants to fight to liberate the Golan Heights and Jerusalem to the last drop of lebanese blood

Thumb lebanon_first 18 March 2014, 17:22

Southern. So what is Hezb's job? isn't the south liberated? shouldn't we start focusing on jobs and economic growth instead of endless resistance?

Thumb lebanon_first 18 March 2014, 17:53

so southern, you basically want to keep HA to compensate for the weakness of the state IN CASE israel attacks.

I would like to do another resistance against Assad, in case he returns and bombs us again. By the way, isn't he bombing us now? Since the state is weak, and we cant trust it, I want to do this resistance. It will be called Hezballah2, be financed by the KSA. It will be exclusively sunni. It will have its own little army, telecommunication system. We will open international airport of Ryak for it to control. Plus a port. I forgot. If anyone messes with it, we will send its members killing shias and christians (May 7)

How do you feel about that now?

Thumb FlameCatcher 18 March 2014, 17:56

@Southern and the KEZB want to keep the LAF WEAK as an excuse to hold onto their weapons. A strong LAF goes against Hezbollah. They cannot claim they want a strong LAF and be the main force in the country preventing the LAF from exerting its power on the entire lebanese territory !

Thumb popeye 18 March 2014, 18:18

what southern is saying the terror party will not lay down its arms until a comprehensive solution to the Middle East, Ukranian, Central African, Darfur conflicts is reached, and the palestinians return home. In others words NEVER.

Thumb geha 18 March 2014, 18:57

Thumb cedre 18 March 2014, 20:12

thanks for the link geha...

Missing peace 18 March 2014, 21:07

it cannot be assad forces as they are here to protect golan for the israelis as good resistants they are....

Default-user-icon muhami (Guest) 19 March 2014, 02:39

Israel is producing a great red wine made in the Golan heights and it is selling in the US for about $15. Is it available in Lebanon yet?

Missing -karim- 19 March 2014, 03:45

Maybe Netanyahu could ask his FSA-Al Qaeda jihadist terrorist buddies for help.

Thumb Mystic 19 March 2014, 08:31

Al Qaeda/Nusra FSA & Israel. The two brothers

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