Despite several days of sporadic, errant rockets from fighting in Syria landing in the Golan Heights, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman reassured the country that it was back to “business as usual” for Israel’s northern region.
After touring the Israel-Syrian border yesterday, Lieberman said he saw farmers plowing their fields and tourists visiting the sites as usual.
Some 16 rockets struck Israel in the past several days including one while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was touring the border. He was not harmed nor was he in danger. The rockets have all landed in open space and haven’t caused damage.
Israel’s response has been restrained but consistent. Israeli forces have responded to these rockets with several airstrikes targeting Syrian army installations.
“This response is necessary, since shutting its eyes to isolated incidents of mortar fire would eventually expose Israel to constant shooting – just as Israel’s turning a blind eye when the Iranians smuggled the first few missiles to Hezbollah led eventually to the organization’s arsenal reaching about 100,000 projectiles,” wrote Prof. Eval Zisser in Israel Hayom.
Because Israel’s presence on the Golan is not recognized internationally, Eval contends that Israel “must keep tabs on what is happening around Quneitra and on local skirmishes between rebels and Assad’s troops, but also look ahead to what happens next, when various agreements will determine the reality along its northern border for years to come.”
“Until these agreements are in place, Israel must stick to clear red lines and avoid hollow or self-contradictory announcements,” he wrote. “The red lines must be clear, and the other side must understand and respect them.”
Lieberman said that Israel is “not looking for excuses” to get involved in the conflict across the border. But the Jewish state will also not stand for a disruption of peace and security, he said.
Israel officially holds Basher Assad’s regime responsible for incidents originating from the Syrian leader’s country.