News / Middle East

Israel Fires into Syria, Violence Also Flares on Gaza Border

Trails of smoke are seen after the launch of rockets from the northern Gaza strip towards Israel, November 11, 2012.
Trails of smoke are seen after the launch of rockets from the northern Gaza strip towards Israel, November 11, 2012.
Robert Berger
Israel fired a missile into Syria in what the military described as a “warning shot,” after a stray mortar shell fired from Syria landed near an Israeli military post in the Golan Heights. It was the first time Israel fired into Syria since the civil war erupted there more than a year and a half ago.

Fighting between Syrian government forces and rebels has been moving closer to Israeli-controlled areas of the Golan, which Israel captured from Syria during the Middle East war of 1967.

Israel says it is not being deliberately targeted by Syrian forces. But at the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that Israel will not allow the Syrian civil war to spill across the northern boundary.

Netanyahu said Israel is closely watching the situation and is prepared for any eventuality.

Violence has also surged on Israel’s southern border with the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by the Palestinian militant group Hamas.  Palestinian militants bombarded southern Israel with rockets, sending families to bomb shelters and shutting schools. Israel retaliated with airstrikes which the army said targeted weapons facilities.

The violence began Saturday when a Palestinian anti-tank missile blasted an Israeli army jeep on the Gaza border.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said Palestinian attacks from Gaza will not be tolerated.

Netanyahu said “Israel will not sit idly by” when its citizens are attacked, and he warned that the army is prepared “to escalate its response.”

Hamas was defiant. The group’s spokesman, Fawzi Barhoum, said the Palestinians would “teach Israel a lesson.”

Barhoum told Hamas television that Israel is “shooting at Gaza day and night and killing women and children.” He said “resistance is our right.”

Despite the warnings, both sides have signaled that they do not want an escalation like the one that sparked Israel’s invasion of Gaza nearly four years ago and caused massive destruction.  But with tit-for tat attacks across the border, neither side is backing down.

You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Budlang from: USA
November 12, 2012 2:46 PM
It seems the general opinion in the media and world politics is that Israel should take the continual shelling from Gaza and just smile in return. It kind of reminds me of how the US currently thinks in its approach to our enemies. Just be nice enough to them and they will do the right thing. Ha! Good luck with that.
Hooorah for Israel

by: Anonymous
November 12, 2012 1:56 PM
hey, US/Israel/Europe... its time you understand that this is a war... a war of extermination... its time you started to inflict some real damage on the enemies of Humanity... you are fighting an Islamic ideology of hatred and genocide... of subversion and inhumanity... your appeasement and attempts to "dialogue" is viewed with contempt and ridicule in the Muslim world... and it guarantees a consolidation of Islamic countries against you... listen to what Morsi is saying about you in Arabic... listen to the instruction given to all Muslims in Christian lands the المهاجرون the so called "immigrants"... they learn to use all your "liberties" against you... look at Abu Qatada... - read his case... it is a real war... Muslims are learning to use all your freedoms to subvert and destroy you from within... you must learn to listen to the Muslims in Arabic... its very different from what their "spokesmen" tell you in English... they will use every advantage to undermine your cohesion, saw doubts and hesitation in your population - if you think Judeo/Christian civilization is worth saving - learn to recognize the Islamic assault on you - because it is a WAR!!! and it does not distinguish between civilians and soldiers... everyone is a legitimate target...
In Response

by: Hadil Baak from: Lebanon
November 12, 2012 8:29 PM
I am ashamed to say, but this is very true. This is the most accurate assessment of the intention of Islam and Muslims in the west I have ever read here.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs