Israeli military: Syrian rockets hit Golan Heights

Israeli infantry soldiers of the Golani brigade take part in exercises in the Israeli annexed Golan Heights, on May 6, 2013.

Story highlights

  • Several rockets land in the northern Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Israel's military says
  • Initial reports indicate they are a result of the conflict between Syria's armed forces and rebels
  • Israel's Mount Hermon will be temporarily closed to visitors, the Israeli military says

Several Syrian rockets landed early Wednesday in the Mount Hermon area of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, on the border with Syria, the Israeli military said.

"Initial reports indicate that the rockets are a result of (the) domestic situation in Syria," a spokeswoman for the Israel Defense Forces said.

"As a result the Hermon side of the mountain will be temporarily closed for visitors."

The Israel Defense Forces has been in touch with the U.N. force stationed between the two countries, the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force, over the incident, it said.

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According to the website for Mount Hermon, it is the highest point in Israel and is visited by skiers in winter and hikers the rest of the year. A chair lift runs up the mountain, part of which is a designated military zone.

The Golan Heights, formerly Syrian territory, were seized by Israel in 1967. The two countries signed an armistice in 1974, following the Yom Kippur War, and U.N. forces have been stationed there since.

Is Syrian war escalating to wider conflict?

It's not the first time Syria's civil war has spilled over into the Golan Heights area.

Four U.N. peacekeepers were released Sunday, five days after they were seized by armed men while patrolling between Syria and the Israeli-occupied territory.

In March, 22 peacekeepers were held for four days by rebels. The United Nations called on Syrian and rebel troops at that time to honor the impartiality of the U.N. troops stationed in the Golan Heights.

Tensions in the area have been heightened recently and Israel has twice conducted strikes against Syria.

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