Israel retaliates with attacks on Palestinian 'base' in Syria

 

The Israeli army has attacked what it claims is an Islamic Jihad training base in Syria in retaliation for yesterday's suicide bombing in Haifa.

A statement released today by the Israeli army claimed the attack, which occurred overnight, targetted a basedeep in Syrian territory it claimed was being used by several Palestinian organisations, includingHamas and Islamic Jihad.

The attack came several hours after a Palestinian woman detonated a bomb in a beachside restaurant in Haifa, killing 19 people.

Islamic Jihad admitted responsibility for the attack.

"Following the attack, the army has started operating against those behindthe attack, those who support (terror) and those who use the strategy of terrorin order to harm citizens of Israel," the Israeli army said in a statement.

Islamic Jihad, a militant Palestinian group responsible for many attacksagainst Israel, enjoys support from other countries, including Iran and Syria,the statement claimed.

"Syria is a state that supports terror, that constantly tries to frustrateefforts to bring calm and stability to the region and gives cover in itsterritory and capital to the terror organisations that act against Israelicitizens," the army said.

"Israel will not accept the rules of the game that the terrorists are tryingto dictate, and will act with determination against all who harm its citizens,in accordance with the right to self defence and defence of the state," itsaid.

In 2001, Israeli warplanes blasted a Syrian radar station in Lebanon, whereSyria is the main power broker, killing three Syrian soldiers.

That strike wasthe first in five years against the Syrian military and came in retaliation foran attack by Syrian-backed guerrillas in which an Israeli soldier was killed.

AP