Israel says Assad forces behind Golan attack that killed boy

JERUSALEM Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:47am EDT

A relative mourns during the funeral of Mohammed Qaraqara in the northern town of Arabeh June 23, 2014. REUTERS/Baz Ratner

A relative mourns during the funeral of Mohammed Qaraqara in the northern town of Arabeh June 23, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Baz Ratner

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday that Syrian forces launched an attack that killed an Israeli boy on the occupied Golan Heights and Damascus would have to "pay the price" for it.

An anti-tank missile fired from Syria across the frontier fence on Sunday killed Mohammed Qaraqara, 13, drawing Israeli tank fire and air strikes on Syrian army positions.

"We got all the analysis, all the intelligence and it was clear it was Syrian authorities, Assad's forces, who fired on the Israeli boy," Liberman said, referring to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"They must pay the price," he told Israel Radio. "I hope Damascus got the message."

It was the first time an Israeli official has laid blame for the attack, which Israel had earlier described as intentional and the most serious on the frontier since the start of the three-year-old Syrian conflict.

The Syrian army has a presence on the Golan Heights but many areas are controlled by rebels, including militant groups hostile to the Jewish state.

There were conflicting accounts on the number of Syrians killed in the Israeli retaliatory air strikes late on Sunday.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry said four people were killed and nine wounded, according to state news agency SANA, and called on the U.N. Security Council to condemn the attacks.

An Israeli military source told Reuters on Monday that three Syrians were killed and 10 wounded. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group that collects information from activists in Syria, said "at least 10 members of the Syrian army were killed".

"I think Israel responded exactly as we should have, in this case and all others. We cannot just gloss over an Israeli citizen, a boy, being murdered in cold blood with no one being held responsible," Lieberman said.

The Syrian conflict has spilled over into bordering countries and escalated regional tensions. Shelling from Syria has occasionally hit the Golan, including what Israel has said were deliberate attacks on its troops.

Israel captured the western part of the plateau from Syria in a 1967 war and annexed it in a move that is not recognised internationally.

(Additional reporting by Sylvia Westall in Beirut and Dan Williams in Jerusalem; Writing by Maayan Lubell; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

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Comments (10)
Norml018 wrote:
“We got all the analysis, all the intelligence and it was clear it was Syrian authorities, Assad’s forces, who fired on the Israeli boy,” Liberman said. Yes you always have proof before your killing machine goes out for more target practice don’t you. Not! You people can’t do the bidding of the Americans fast enough can you. One more instance you’ll have to cover up in the future when it’s shown that that the Syrian terrorists were responsible.

Jun 24, 2014 4:52am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Het_Russ wrote:
Worth noting that Mohammed Qaraqara appears to have been a Muslim.

Jun 24, 2014 5:47am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Gabordine wrote:
Antisemites below are special they just can’t shutup for thousands of years straight. Sure looks like aparthied, Jews and Arabs at a funeral. Yesterday and Israeli blogger decided to take a picture at a bus stop outside his house that morning, with a religious Muslim, a religious Jew and a person who had a Black person standing behind them waiting for a bus to go to work. Exactly as you would have seen in Apartheid. Note that Yemeni TV just showed a story about the last 300 known Jews in Yemen leaving because of the universal antisemitism in Yemen from the Governemtn down, and the press just lies and spins it backwards antisemite creeps that you are. There ere half a millon Yemeni Jews a hundred years ago. They were among the 1.4 million Arab Jews kicked out of the Muslim world without a peep from anyone in the world, who no make up over 50% of Israel’s Jews. We are dealing with the greatest evil in human historey how the effed up world treats Israel.

Jun 24, 2014 7:24am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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