Syria Attack Leaves One Israeli Teen Dead

Syria

An attack  from Syria leaves one Israeli teen dead, officials reported on Sunday. A 13-year-old Israeli boy was on the occupied Golan Heights and became the first Israeli fatality since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, military reports.

Following the attack, Israeli tanks fired at the Syrian army.  The attack on Golan Heights was condemned by Israeli forces, with the military spokesman describing it as an intentional attack. On early Monday morning, Israel had launched more attacks from both at nine different Syrian army positions from air and land. Some of the places attacked included Syrian military headquarters. Israeli army confirmed direct hits on the targets. As a result of the Israeli attacks four people were killed and nine more wounded.

Following the incident, the Defense Ministry made some announcements. The teenager killed was an Arab citizen of Israel from a village in the Galilee. He had accompanied his father, one of the Defense Ministry civilian contractors, to the Golan. During the explosion, two other people were also wounded.

Following the attack from the Syrian army, Israeli officials confirmed that one teen was dead. At first, the official sources announced that Mohammed Qaraqara was 15. However, relatives quickly corrected the error, stating that the boy was just 13-years-old. Mohammed was described by his family, as a lovable child who excelled at school. His cousin praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for accusing the attackers of indiscriminate killing of the Israeli citizens. The Prime Minister condemned the actions of the Syrian military, calling them an enemy of Israel for attacking civilians and killing children.

A spokeswoman for the Israeli military issued a statement, saying that an anti-tank missile had fired from Syria and across the frontier fence on the Golan. It struck the water tanker in which Qaraqara and several others had been traveling. Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, this attack had lead to the first death and the most significant attack so far. In the past shelling from Syrian fighting and some supposedly deliberate attacks had made their way onto the Golan.

Golan Heights was captured by Israel from Syria in the 1967 war. The plateau was annexed, a move that was not internationally recognized or widely supported at the time. Despite having some presence in the area, the Syrian army does not have much control over the area. Instead, some parts of the Golan are controlled by Syrian rebels who are fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad, and some Al Qaeda-inspired militants who are extremely hostile towards the Jewish state. According to Israeli intelligence, Golan Heights are unsafe for many Israeli citizens, as Hezbollah guerrillas who have sided with Assad, are attacking all Jewish and non-Jewish Israeli citizens.

Since the increasing violence in Syria and Iraq, Israeli officials have been concerned that attacks against Israel will become more frequent. While the attacks have been infrequent so far, last March, four Israeli soldiers were wounded when in a roadside bombing along the Golan frontier. Following the incident, Israel launched air strikes against some of the Syrian military sites. As the Syrian attack leaves one Israeli teen dead, many citizens have voiced anger over the incident, demanding that more is done to provide safety for the citizens.

By Ivelina Kunina

Sources:
Reuters
Toronto Sun
Montreal Gazette

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