Israel on High Alert Over Stray Syrian Mortars

A second mortar shell landed in northern Israel Monday, a day after Israel fired a warning shot into Syria in response to a Syrian mortar that hit the Golan Heights.

Over the weekend, Israel came under fire on both its northern and southern borders.

"We understand that this was a mistake and the mortar was not meant to target Israel and then, this is why we actually fired warning shots in retaliation," Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich said.

Sunday marked the first time since the 1973 Yom Kippur War that Israel fired into Syria, raising fears that Syria's civil war will draw the Jewish state into the conflict.

"Israel will do everything that is needed in order to bring quiet and safety to the people of Israel who live in the northern part of our country," Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said.

On Israel's southern border, more than 100 rockets have slammed into towns like Sderot since Saturday, some scoring direct hits.

Israeli officials blamed Hamas, the Palestinian faction controlling the Gaza Strip, and threatened to escalate its military response.

"The Hamas terror chieftains, they cannot hide," Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau said. "They will have to be a target themselves until those things are over."

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Chris Mitchell
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