Despite Sirens, Missiles, Israelis Still Flock to Kinneret, Golan

Sunset at the Kinneret. (Chen Leopold/Flash90)

Hotels in northern Israel reported that despite security incidents this week – including the firing of several Syrian missiles into the Kinneret – there have been “zero cancellations” of Israeli vacationers, seeking to make the most of the bein hazmanim vacation period. Any cancellations that did take place, hotel owners told Channel Ten, were quickly made up for by other people who reserved the rooms that had been canceled.

Red Alert warning sirens sounded nearly every day this week, and on Wednesday several Grad missiles were fired at Israel from Syrian territory. The IDF had originally assumed that the rockets were fired accidentally at Israel, veering off course as the Syrian army continues to battle rebel groups in southern Syria, but after a reassessment of the situation Wednesday, officials said that it was Islamic State terrorists who fired Grad rockets at Israel from Syrian territory. The rockets fell harmlessly in the Kinneret, and there were no injuries or damage reported. Israeli Navy frogmen combed the bottom of the Kinneret, seeking the pieces of the missiles that had fallen into the lake.

On Monday, two SS-21 missiles were fired at Israeli territory from Syria. An Israeli antirocket missile was fired at the incoming missiles, but it exploded before it reached its target. The Syrian missiles did not crash in Israeli territory, officials said.

On Tuesday, sirens sounded again when a Syrian military plane entered Israeli airspace. That plane was shot down by Israeli antiaircraft missiles. The plane’s pilot was said to have been killed.

Meanwhile, it appeared that Syria was set to declare victory over the rebel groups that until recently had occupied large parts of the country. On Thursday, a Reuters photographer said that the Syrian flag was once again flying over Quneitra, just over the border from the Israeli side of the Golan security border fence – indicating that forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad were again in control of that area, one of the last strongholds of rebel resistance.