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Israel downs drone from Syria over occupied Golan: army

Israel downed a drone over the occupied Golan Heights on Sunday (Aug31), the army said, amid mounting tension on the UN-patrolled armistice line with Syria on the strategic plateau.

JERUSALEM: Israel downed a drone over the occupied Golan Heights on Sunday (Aug31), the army said, amid mounting tension on the UN-patrolled armistice line with Syria on the strategic plateau.

Air defences "successfully intercepted an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that breached Israel airspace above the border with Syria," an army statement said. "We have said several times that we shall respond to any violation of our sovereignty," it added.

Heavy fighting between Syrian government troops and opposition forces flowed into the buffer zone separating Syrian and Israeli-occupied territory at the weekend.

Dozens of Filipino UN peacekeepers escaped the hot zone overnight after rebels rammed their Golan Heights outpost with armed trucks, the Philippine military said.

Israel closed off the area around the Quneitra crossing on the Golan on Wednesday after an officer was wounded by stray fire as Syrian rebels seized control of the site.

Last Sunday, rocket fire from Syria hit several points in the Israeli-controlled zone but there were no casualties.

In June, Israeli warplanes attacked Syrian military headquarters and positions after an Israeli teenager was killed in what the Jewish state said was a cross-border attack by forces loyal to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Some incidents have been put down to stray fire from fighting between Syrian government troops and rebel forces.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometres (460 square miles) of the Golan Heights during the Six-Day War of 1967, then annexed it in 1981 in a move never recognised by the international community. The UN Disengagement Observer Force has been monitoring the ceasefire since 1974.

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