Israel steps up security for possible Syria airstrike

Updated: 2015-01-20 10:10


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Israel steps up security for possible Syria airstrike

An Israeli soldier directs a tank onto a truck near the border between Israel-occupied Golan Heights and Lebanon, on Jan 19, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

Israel also shut down the airspace over the Golan Heights on Monday, ordering civil aircraft to stay out of the area. The airspace above Israel's north, east of the Jordan River, was closed to all civil aircraft except for agricultural aircraft several kilometers from the Syrian border.

An Israeli official confirmed to Xinhua that Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would convene a meeting of his security cabinet on Tuesday to discuss the recent developments in the area and the security arrangements up north.

Earlier on Monday, Netanyahu said that Israel "insists on its right to defend itself against those who will perpetrate terror attacks against its citizens and attack them."

The airstrike, attributed to Israel, took place on Sunday in the Syrian Golan Heights, near the town of Quneitra. A helicopter struck a convoy of vehicles, killing six operatives of the Lebanese Shi'ite militant organization Hezbollah, including Jihad Mughniyah.

Jihad was a commander and the son of Imad Mughniya, a former commander of Hezbollah believed to have been assassinated by Israel in 2008.