IDF Thwarts Attack Along Lebanon Border, Hezbollah Terrorists Flee Israeli Territory

Hezbollah Fighter APHussein Malla
AP/Hussein Malla

The IDF foiled a Hezbollah terror attack along the border with Lebanon on Monday afternoon, the military said, and opened fire at a number of terrorists from the Iran-backed group that entered Israeli territory.

IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Hidai Zilberman denied Lebanese reports a Hezbollah cell had fired anti-tank guided missiles during the incident.

“We have some tense days ahead,” he said, adding it was possible that more attacks were forthcoming.

The attack was in retaliation for the death of one a Hezbollah fighters in an alleged Israeli airstrike in Syria last week, the Reuters news agency reported.

The cell, which numbered three or four, was driven back into Lebanese territory with Israeli machine guns and heavy artillery fire, Zilberman said.

He added that while he wasn’t sure the exact nature of their infiltration, it was clear they were planning an assault.

“A cell sneaking into Israel in the middle of the day, they most likely weren’t there to have a barbecue,” Zilberman told reporters.

More than a dozen communities in the Mount Dov area where the incident occurred were told to stay indoors.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz left the Knesset to travel to the IDF’s Kirya headquarters in Tel Aviv.

“We are in a serious security situation,” Netanyahu said upon leaving a Likud faction meeting.

Moments earlier at that meeting, he warned Israel would not allow Iran to entrench itself militarily on the Israeli border with Syria.

“The IDF is prepared for any scenario. We are active in all areas for the security of Israel – close to our borders and far from them,” he said. “We are constantly monitoring what is unfolding on our northern border. When I say ‘we,’ that means myself, the defense minister, the IDF Chief-of-Staff – all of us together.”

Gantz said at his Blue and White party faction meeting that whoever provokes Israel “will discover a determined and alert military that is ready to protect the citizens of Israel and its sovereignty.”

“I reiterate – the responsibility lies with the State of Syria and the State of Lebanon for any action that is taken from their territory.”

Iran and its terror proxies continue to “try to establish an Iranian choke hold” along Israel’s northern border, but that the IDF and security forces will “continue to act against Iran, the smuggling of weaponry and against the precision missile project,” he went on.

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