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Israel again fires warning shot at Syrian post

Israeli Soldiers.

An Israeli tank fired a warning shot Sunday for the second time in 24 hours at a Syrian army post in a buffer zone on the Golan Heights, the army said.

Although the post was on the Syrian-controlled side of the strategic plateau it was undergoing construction work forbidden by a separation of forces agreement between the sides, a military statement said.

It said Syria’s armed forces “violated the 1974 ceasefire agreement by conducting construction work in order to strengthen a military post in the northern part of the demilitarised zone”.

“In response, the Israel Defence Forces fired a warning shot towards the area using a tank.”

“The agreement prohibits the entry of heavy construction tools or military vehicles into the demilitarised zone,” it said, without giving the precise location of the incident.

On Saturday a tank also fired a warning shot, and the army issued an almost identical statement.

But it also said it had filed a complaint with the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) which monitors the line between the Syrian and Israeli-held sectors.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the Golan Heights from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognised by the international community.

Israeli media said Saturday’s tank fire hit near the Syrian government-controlled Druze village of Hader, which was targeted by rebel forces two weeks ago.

The attack on Hader, which began with a suicide bomber blowing up a car and killing nine people, raised concern among Golan Druze over the fate of their co-religionists at the hands of Sunni extremists of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham group.

It also prompted the Israeli army to issue a rare statement pledging to “prevent Hader from being harmed or occupied”.

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