Israeli Defense Minister Warns Syria, Lebanon: Don’t Test Us

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman cautioned the country’s northern neighbors against testing the Jewish State’s patience following numerous cases of spillover fire from Syria.

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© AP Photo/ Ariel Schalit

On Saturday, two stray mortars landed near a security fence in Israel’s Golan Heights in the latest of a series of such incidents in just one week. The projectiles are believed to be from fighting between the Bashar Assad regime and rebel groups near the city of Quneitra. They caused no injuries or damage to property.

The IDF responded with a retaliatory raid targeting a Syrian military post near the Naba Fawar base.

The Israeli defense minister said on Sunday that while Israel maintains a policy of staying out of the raging Syrian Civil War, breaches of the country’s territorial sovereignty won’t be tolerated.

“We have no intention of entering any conflict, but I advise our neighbors not to test us,” Lieberman told military journalists during a briefing at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, as cited by the Jerusalem Post.

“We will not tolerate any spillover into our territory.”

He added that Syria and Lebanon already know that it is not a good idea to test Israel’s military strength, implying the retaliatory strikes.

Additionally, Lieberman pointed out that Israel is ready to support a peace process in Syria — unless it involves Iran, Hezbollah or Assad.

“Keeping Assad in power is not in our security interests,” he told reporters.

Though Israel says it wants to stay out Syria’s seven-year-old civil war, Lieberman said there are red lines Jerusalem has set, including the smuggling of sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah and an Iranian presence on its borders.