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Jan 27, 12:59 PM EST

Israel says 2 rockets from Syria strike Golan Heights

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Conflict in the Middle East

JERUSALEM (AP) -- At least two rockets launched from Syria struck the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights on Tuesday and Israel responded with artillery fire, the military said.

The exchange came after an airstrike last week in Syria attributed to Israel killed six members of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah and an Iranian general. Israel has braced for a response to that strike, beefing up its air defenses and increasing surveillance along its northern frontier.

Israeli military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said Tuesday's fire "appeared to be intentional." He declined to comment on whether the fire may have been connected to last week's airstrike.

A message on Lerner's Twitter account said that Israel "responded with artillery towards the positions that launched the attack."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel views the rockets "very seriously" and that it will retaliate to attacks.

"Those that play with fire will get fire," Netanyahu said at a memorial for International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The military said sirens sounded in communities in the Golan Heights earlier Tuesday. It said that it had evacuated and closed a popular ski resort following the strike. No injuries were reported.

Israel captured the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau overlooking northern Israel, from Syria in the 1967 Mideast war and later annexed it.

Fighting in neighboring Syria's civil war has spilled over to Israel in the past. Mortar shells have exploded sporadically inside Israeli territory since the conflict began, sometimes causing minor damage.

Israel believes most fire is errant shots but has at times accused Syria of aiming at Israeli targets. Israeli troops have returned fire on several occasions.

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