Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that his country will attack “anyone who tries to attack us,” a day after Israel said it killed “terrorists” near the Syrian border.
Speaking at the Knesset (parliament) on Monday, Netanyahu said that on Sunday night, Israeli troops “thwarted an attempt to plant explosives on the Syrian front,” reported Xinhua news agency.
Hours later, Israeli fighter jets and aircraft targeted Hamas sites in the Gaza Strip after a rocket was fired towards southern Israel from the besieged Palestinian enclave. The rocket was intercepted by Israel’s anti-rocket Iron Dome system.
“We will hit anyone who tries to attack us and this principle applies to anyone who does,” he said.
The incident near Israel’s disputed border with Syria took place overnight between Sunday and Monday in the Golan Heights. A military spokesperson said Israeli troops opened fire at four armed men who were implanting explosives near the border. Media reports said later that the four were killed.
The army said that in a patrol near the site on Monday, weapons and a bag with a few improvised explosive devices (IEDs) ready to deploy were found some 25 meters from the security fence on the Israeli side of the Alpha Line, the 1967 cease-fire line between the two countries.
“IDF (Israel Defence Forces) troops on the Golan Heights remain ready for further developments,” the military said in a statement, adding it holds Syria “responsible for any aggression from its territory.”
Tensions along Israel’s borders with Lebanon and Syria have been on the rise since a fighter with Hezbollah was killed in an apparent Israeli airstrike in Syria in July.
Last Monday, Israel said it thwarted an infiltration attempt by Hezbollah. Hezbollah denied such an attempt.