Two rockets thought to be launched from the Syrian Golan Heights penetrated around 50 kilometers into Israeli territory and landed in the Sea of Galilee. The area was full at the time with vacationers trying to escape temperatures well in excess of 100℉ in the region.
The rockets were thought to be launched as part of a last-ditch rearguard effort by Syrian rebels holed up in the Golan Heights, against President Bashar al-Assad’s (backed by Russian air power) surging forces. Air raid sirens wailed across the northern region as the incoming projectiles by-passed Israel’s air defenses.
“There were two explosions, and we saw a wave of people leave the water,” an Israeli swimmer told Ynet News. “We heard a strong boom that caused a strong wave in the water.”
Following the rocket fire, the IDF targeted the rocket launcher in Syria.
“In response to the 2 rockets launched at Israel from Syria, IDF aircraft targeted the rocket launcher from which they were fired. The area surrounding it was targeted by artillery,” the IDF Spokesperson Unit said.
This latest incident comes hot on the heels of several others over the last two weeks or so, which have sent residents of Israel’s northern region to bomb shelters. On Tuesday, a Syrian fighter plane was shot down – by the same defense battery that had loosed two Patriot missiles to fell a drone earlier in the month – and is now thought to have accidentally strayed into Israeli territory. A day previously, sirens blared as two surface-to-surface missiles were fired in Israel’s direction, before falling short of the border and hitting Syrian territory.
Israeli officials including Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have warned their Syrian and Russian counterparts of the consequences of attempting to draw Israel into the internecine civil war north of its border.