A Hezbollah terrorist cell attempted to infiltrate into Israel from Lebanon and was engaged by the IDF in the area of Har Dov.
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
IDF forces in the area of Har Dov on the Israel-Lebanon border exchanged fire with Hezbollah terrorists on Monday. The terrorist cell was eliminated.
An IDF spokesman said, “We managed to disrupt an attack by a terrorist cell of the size of three or four terrorists who crossed a few meters into the sovereign territory.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on his way to IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv, said, “We are in a security incident that is not a simple one.”
According to a Lebanese report, the terrorist cell attempted an ambush, firing a Russian-made Kornet anti-tank missile at an Israeli Merkava tank. According to Lebanon sources, the launch of the missile may have been meant as a distraction to give time for the cell to cross the border. Lebanese reports also said that Israel shelled the area around Shebaa Farms, Kfar Shuba and Al-Bahariya with artillery fire in response. However, the IDF did not confirm any of these reports.
No Israeli casualties were reported. Residents said they heard heavy exchanges of fire on the border area.
The incident started around 3:00 p.m. local time and the Army ordered all residents of the Upper Galilee region to remain indoors until further notice. “All activities in the open space are prohibited, including agricultural work, resorts and tourism,” the IDF said.
However, minutes before 5:00 p.m., the IDF announced that all restrictions on movement were lifted and the roads were reopened.
The Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist group threatened last week they would carry out a revenge attack after a Hezbollah fighter was killed in Syria in an airstrike attributed by foreign sources to Israel.
On Monday, the Israeli news site Walla reported that Hezbollah had called off an attack at the last minute after the IDF sent reinforcements to the northern border. The IDF noted at the time that the threat had not disappeared.
Over the weekend, Israel sent a message via the UN to the Lebanese government, warning that any action from Lebanese soil against Israel would be considered a severe border violation and Israel would retaliate in kind.
Earlier Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hezbollah and its Iranian sponsors against attacking Israel.
“We are constantly monitoring what is happening on our northern border. When I say ‘we’, that means myself, the Defense Minister, the Chief-of-Staff – all of us together,” Netanyahu said.
“Our policy is clear. First, we will not allow Iran to entrench militarily on our border with Syria. This is the policy that I set years ago; we uphold it consistently.
“Second, Lebanon and Hezbollah will bear the responsibility for any attack against us emanating from Lebanese territory. Third, the IDF is prepared for any scenario. We are active in all arenas for the security of Israel – both close to our borders and far from them.”