Benjamin Netanyahu on warpath after Golan attacks from Syria

PUBLISHED : Monday, 23 June, 2014, 9:44pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 24 June, 2014, 3:26am

Israel's prime minister yesterday warned Syria's warring parties against any bid to fire up tensions with Israel, hours after the Israeli air force carried out a string of air strikes in Syria in response to a deadly cross-border attack.

Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would respond with even tougher force if there were any further attacks against his country.

"Last night we operated with great force against Syrian targets that acted against us, and if needed we will use additional force," he told members of his Likud Party. "We will continue to forcefully hurt anyone who attacks us or tries to attack us."

The Israeli military said the air raids struck nine targets in Syria. The Syrian government on Monday condemned the raids - which killed four troops and wounded nine and destroyed a command centre - as a "fragrant violation" of its territory.

The Israeli military said "direct hits were confirmed" on the targets, near the site of Sunday's violence in the Golan Heights.

Since the Syrian uprising began in March 2011, several artillery rounds have landed on the Israeli side of the de facto border, drawing limited Israeli reprisals.

The latest air raids came after an Israeli civilian vehicle was struck by what the army says was an anti-tank missile fired from the Syrian side of the border as it drove in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.

A teenage Israeli boy was killed and two other people were wounded.

It was not immediately clear whether Syrian troops or one of the rebel groups battling the government carried out the attack.

The violence comes during an already tense time in Israel, with its forces still searching the West Bank for three teenagers believed abducted by Hamas militants.

Overnight, Israeli troops detained a further 37 Palestinians during their search.