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Israel strikes Syria after rocket fire on Golan

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JERUSALEM – Israeli warplanes struck a Syrian military position overnight in response to rocket fire on the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights, the military said on Tuesday.

The cross-border fire came days after an air strike blamed on Israel destroyed the Iranian consulate in Damascus, killing senior military commanders and raising regional tensions.

The Israeli military said that “warplanes attacked Syrian army military infrastructure overnight in the Mahajjah area” — around 30 kilometres (20 miles) from the demilitarised zone separating the opposing forces.

The Israeli army said it identified a rocket launch from Syrian territory on Monday that caused no casualties. It said artillery struck the source of the fire.

Israel has raised its military readiness after last week’s deadly strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus drew threats of retaliation from Tehran.

The April 1 strike killed seven Iranian Revolutionary Guards, two of them generals.

Meanwhile, Israel’s security is at the “core” of German foreign policy, the UN’s highest court heard on Tuesday, where Berlin is defending itself against a claim it is furnishing Israel with weapons being used in Gaza.

“Our history is the reason why Israel’s security has been at the core of Germany foreign policy,” Germany’s representative told the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

“Where Germany has provided support to Israel, including in a form of export of arms and other military equipment, the quality and purposes of these supplies have been grossly distorted by Nicaragua,” Tania von Uslar-Gleichen said.

Nicaragua has brought Germany before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to demand that judges impose emergency measures to stop Berlin from providing Israel with weapons and other assistance.

Lawyers for Nicaragua argued that Germany is in breach of the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention, set up in the wake of the Holocaust, by furnishing Israel with weapons.

On Monday, Nicaragua’s lawyers called Berlin “pathetic” for supplying Israel with weapons and at the same time giving humanitarian aid to Palestinians

Nicaragua asked the ICJ to decide “provisional measures”, the emergency orders that can be imposed while the court considers the broader case.

Germany had already said after Monday’s hearing that it “completely rejected” Managua’s accusations.

The ICJ was set up to rule in disputes between nations and has become a key player in the war between Israel and Hamas militants that erupted after the October 7 attacks.

In a separate case, South Africa has accused Israel of perpetrating genocide in the Gaza Strip, charges Israel has angrily denied.

In that case, the court ordered Israel to do everything in its power to prevent genocidal acts and recently toughened its stance, ordering additional measures obliging Israel to step up access to humanitarian aid.

The strike came with regional tensions already running high as Israel battles Hamas in Gaza and exchanges near-daily fire with its Lebanese ally Hezbollah.

The Gaza war was sparked by an unprecedented Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 that resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli figures.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive against Hamas has killed at least 33,207 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.

Israel captured the Golan Heights in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognized internationally.

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