Netanyahu: Hezbollah attack caused ‘no casualties, not even a scratch’

Following a Hezbollah strike on Israeli military positions on the northern border, the prime minister confirmed that no Israelis were harmed in the attack.

By World Israel News and AP

The IDF on Sunday announced that Hezbollah terrorists fired a barrage of anti-tank missiles at an Israeli army base, hitting several other targets.

Shortly after the attack by Hezbollah, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement based on “a consultation with the Chief-of-Staff and with IDF generals.”

“We have no casualties – not even a scratch,” Netanyahu stated, adding, “We were attacked with several anti-tank missiles. We responded with 100 shells and firing from the air by various means.”

Netanyahu continued, “We are consulting about the next steps. I have ordered that we be prepared for any scenario. We will decide on the next steps pending developments.”

The military said it had encouraged residents near the northern border with Lebanon to stay indoors and ordered public bomb shelters to open.

In a speech earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu called out Iran for its role fomenting violence and destabilizing the region.

“A new empire has arisen, the goal of which is to defeat us. They dispatch proxies. We are dealing with extremist Islam led by various elements, but in the end, the biggest threat to our existence comes from Iran,” explained Netanyahu.

In Lebanon, the Israeli shelling was concentrated on areas close to the border near the villages of Maroun el-Ras and Yaroun, triggering some fires.

Hezbollah said the unit that carried out the attack on Israel was named after two operatives who were killed in the Israeli airstrike on Syria on Aug. 24. It said one of its units had destroyed an Israeli military vehicle and wounded the people inside, a claim that proved to be false.

Iranian terror proxies foment violence

The sudden burst of violence raised the prospect of a wider round of fighting between Israel and the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah. The bitter enemies, which fought a month-long war in 2006, have appeared to be on a collision course in recent weeks.

Hezbollah is one of a number of Iranian terror proxies in the region whose stated goal is to destroy the Jewish state. Israel recently outed Hezbollah’s Iranian-directed precision missile program, and was blamed for drone strikes in Lebanon that allegedly destroyed critical equipment used to develop the weapons.

Hezbollah has vowed revenge for the strikes it pinned on Israel.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri held telephone calls with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well as an adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron urging Washington and Paris as well as the international community to intervene in the volatile situation.

Hezbollah wields considerable political power and military might within Lebanon, with many questioning the extent to which Iran controls Lebanese policy based on its iron-clad grip on Hezbollah.

Hezbollah possesses an arsenal of some 130,000 missiles and rockets. Last week, former Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Sheikholeslam claimed on Iranian TV that his nation deployed roughly 150,000 missiles in Lebanon, Syria, and the Gaza Strip, which can be launched at Israel at Iran’s discretion.

Throughout the Syrian war, Israel has acknowledged carrying out scores of airstrikes in Syria aimed at preventing Iranian arms transfers to Hezbollah.

But in recent weeks, Israel is believed to have struck Iranian or Hezbollah targets in Iraq and Lebanon as well.

Hezbollah has vowed to avenge the deaths of a pair of operatives it says were killed in an Israeli strike in Syria last week. Hezbollah is also out to avenge an alleged Israeli drone strike in Beirut that Israeli media have said destroyed a sophisticated piece of equipment needed to manufacture precision-guided missiles.

Despite Israel and Hezbollah’s deep hostility, they have largely refrained from direct fighting for the past 13 years.