Israeli army says it treated wounded Syrians

The Israeli army on Saturday said it treated five Syrians wounded in clashes on the Golan Heights and took them to a hospital inside the Jewish state.

According to a military spokeswoman, Israeli "soldiers provided medical care to five injured Syrians adjacent to the security fence" on the Golan Heights.

"The wounded were transferred to a hospital (in Israel) for further medical treatment."

Army radio reported they were civilians, who were taken to Ziv hospital in Safed.

An unnamed military official was cited on public radio as saying that Israel had a policy of providing humanitarian aid to refugees, while keeping the border sealed tight against hostile elements.

The official also told public radio Israel had prepared designated zones near the border to receive Syrian refugees, under the auspices of the United Nations.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday that rebels overran a military police checkpoint at the Golan Heights town of Khan Arnabeh just beyond the outer ceasefire line along the demilitarised zone bordering Israel.

Regime forces responded by shelling Khan Arnabeh and the nearby village of Jubata al-Khashab, inside the ceasefire zone.

The Golan has been tense since the outbreak nearly two years ago of anti-regime protests in Syria that quickly turned into a bloody insurgency, at times spilling over with mortar and gunfire into the Israeli-held zone.

Last November, Israel responded with artillery after gunfire from Syria hit an army vehicle but caused no injuries, in the first instance of Israeli fire directed at the Syrian military in the Golan since their 1973 war.

Israel seized the Golan from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and annexed it in 1981, in a move never recognised by the international community.

Israel is upgrading the old security fence along its armistice line with Syria, with work expected to be completed by the end of the year.