Israel on Monday reported a “security incident” on the Lebanese border leading to an exchange of fire, amid heightened tensions with Hezbollah.
Explosions and gunfire were reported in the Shebaa Farms border area of the Israeli-Lebanese border, after suspected clashes between with Hezbollah forces.
The Israeli military said it was engaged in “ongoing combat” at the border areas, enforcing a lockdown for civilians.
“Following the security incident in the Mount Dov area… residents are asked to stay in their houses. Any kind of activity in open areas is forbidden,” an army statement said.
Israel and Hezbollah trade fire across Lebanon border as tensions rise https://t.co/onZe7E1Akp
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The Israeli military closed roads and told locals to stay in their homes, which has been the site of tensions between the two sides in recent days.
“We are in the midst of a complicated event,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on hearing news on the clashes.
Earlier, Netanyahu warned he would not allow Syria or Lebanon to be used as a base for attacks on Israel.
“We maintain the policy that I set years ago: we will not allow Iran to establish itself on our border. Lebanon and Hezbollah will be responsible for any attack against us that comes of Lebanon,” he said, according to Haaretz.
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A journalist with the pro-Hezbollah media outlet Al-Manar claimed that Israel carried out an unprovoked attack on Lebanese territory on Monday, posting an image that appeared to show the impact of artillery fire.
It comes after expected Hezbollah retaliation for the killing of one of its operatives in an Israeli airstrike in Syria last week.
Israel has bolstered its military defenses on the border region in response to the threats, with further reinforcements sent after the incident.
Hezbollah said it has increased its readiness “to monitor activities” and was expected to issue a statement on the incident later in the day.
Hezbollah denied in a statement today that such a clash has taken place or that fighters belonging to the group attempted to penetrate Israeli defenses. It also warned Israel that a response to the killing of its top member Kamil Muhsin (who was killed in an Israeli bombing targeting an area adjacent to the Damascus International Airport last week) is “coming for sure.”
The statement also said that today’s attack by Israel which “targeted the village of Habariya, wounding one civilian, will not at all be met with silence” from the Lebanese resistance.
(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)