IDF fires on suspected Hezbollah terrorists near border, warns Lebanon it will attack if terror group continues developing precision missiles.
By Benjamin Kerstein, The Algemeiner
In the first major flare-up since Operation Northern Shield began, the IDF fired on three suspected Hezbollah terrorists who approached the border with Lebanon.
The operation on the northern border has been ongoing since last Tuesday. It is intended to destroy cross-border attack tunnels dug by Hezbollah that Israel believes were intended to facilitate a full-scale attack on the Galilee region.
According to Israel’s Channel Two, the three suspected terrorists approached the border using the stormy weekend weather as cover. The IDF Spokesperson’s Office said IDF soldiers “shot toward the figures according to orders to open fire. The three escaped. The work continues as planned.”
Hebrew news site Walla quotes the official Lebanese news service as saying, “The soldiers of the Zionist enemy fired in the air after they were surprised by a routine patrol by the Lebanese army on Lebanese territory, because of the heavy fog.”
In addition, Walla cites a report that Israel used the U.S. and France to issue a back-channel warning to Lebanon, saying that Israel will attack Hezbollah on Lebanese territory if the group does not cease building precision-guided missiles with Iranian support.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on Saturday regarding the ongoing operation. The Prime Minister’s Office stated, “Netanyahu updated President Putin on the details of Operation Northern Shield and Israel’s intention to continue to thwart the tunnel threat. The two of them agreed that military delegations from both countries will meet soon.”