QUNEITRA – Israel carried out retaliatory air raids on Syrian army positions in the Golan Heights overnight after a teenager on the Israeli side was killed in an attack from Syria, the army said early Monday.
"The IDF (Israeli army) targeted nine Syrian army positions in response to the earlier attack that originated in Syria killing an Israeli teenager and injuring two other Israeli civilians," an army spokesman said.
Sunday's action marked the most serious escalation along the ceasefire line with Syria since the 1973 Middle East War, with Israel's defence minister warning Damascus would pay a "high price" for helping militants bent on harming the Jewish state.
The targeted sites of Israel's retaliatory raids included "Syrian military headquarters and launching positions," and "direct hits were confirmed," said the statement by Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, the army's foreign press spokesman.
There were no reports of Syrian casualties.
The air raids came after the 13-year-old son of an Israeli defence ministry contractor was killed on the Golan on Sunday morning.
The Arab Israeli victim was named as Mohammed Qaraqra, from the northern village of Arabeh in the Galilee region, military radio said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the deadly attack. "Israel's enemies will stop at nothing," he told the dead boy's grieving father by phone, his office said.
"They won't stop at attacking civilians or even murdering children as happened this morning," Netanyahu added.
Israel's defence ministry said the boy was killed when a blast hit the car he was travelling in with his father and another contractor, both of whom were wounded.AFP