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Shell from Syria hits Israeli-occupied Golan

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

A shell fired from Syria, where insurgents and government troops are locked in fierce fighting, exploded in the Israeli-occupied sector of the Golan Heights plateau on Sunday, a military spokeswoman told AFP.

"A shell fired from Syria hit an open area near the Israel-Syria border in the northern Golan Heights," the spokeswoman said. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

"Initial evidence suggests the shell was a result of errant fire from Syria. IDF (Israel defence forces) soldiers are currently searching the area," she said. "The UN forces operating in the area were notified of the incident."

The spokeswoman did not say what kind of shell exploded in Israel, but a security source told AFP it was a mortar round.

The army spokeswoman noted that in the past 24 hours, two wounded Syrian men were taken into Israel for medical treatment.

A spokesman for the Western Galilee Medical Centre in the coastal town of Nahariya, where they were being treated, told AFP that both were suffering blows, not gun wounds, to their heads.

The two young men, one in moderate condition and the other moderate-to-serious condition, brought the total of Syrians who were treated at Nahariya hospital since the beginning of the violence in Syria more than two years ago to 24, all of them young men except for a woman and 13-year-old girl, the spokesman said.

The Golan has been tense since the beginning of the conflict in Syria but so far there have only been minor flare-ups as Syrian small arms fire or mortar rounds hit the Israeli side, prompting an occasional Israeli response.

Israel, which is technically at war with Syria, seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the strategic plateau during the 1967 Six-Day War, which it later annexed in a move never recognised by the international community.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130714/shell-syria-hits-israeli-occupied-golan