Syrian killed by Israeli troops in Golan Heights

Syrian killed by Israeli troops in Golan Heights

JERUSALEM, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- A Syrian gunman was reportedly killed in a brief exchange of fire with Israeli forces in the central Golan Heights on Monday morning.

Israeli troops patrolling the area came under small arms fire from across the interim border and returned fire, accurately hitting a target, the army said in a statement.

The Jerusalem Post said the incident took place near the Quneitra border crossing, where Syrian rebels and Syrian government forces continued to wage heavy battles on Monday.

The paper said the gunfire directed at the Israeli patrol was likely initiated from a Syrian army position. There were no casualties on the Israeli side.

Shortly before the incident, a mortar shell fired from Syria fell in Majdal Shams, a Druze village adjacent to the interim border fence in the northern Golan. The projectile, which exploded between two homes, caused no injuries or damage.

The Israeli army said initial evidence suggested that the shell was errantly fired at the community.

Intermittent mortars and gunfire at Israeli military patrols have increased over the past year along the Golan, a strategic plateau captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war.

Israeli leaders have repeatedly stated that while Israel does not seek to intervene in Syria's two-year-old civil conflict, fire on Israel, whether intentional or incidental, would be met with a swift response.