image Photo: Reuters

Israel-Hezbollah tensions flare

Hostilities escalated along Israel’s northern frontier after shots were fired at an IDF force operating near the community of Manara came under fire by unidentified militants from across the border in Lebanon. The Israeli army responded with artillery fire and flares, causing the assailants to flee the scene.

Mayor Shakib Abdel Hussein Qoteish of Lebanon’s Houla border village commented to Reuters that there may have been “sudden movement” that may have drawn the Israeli shelling; presumably alluding to Hezbollah agents attempting to make their escape through the civilian community.

Despite the heavy exchange of gunfire, no injuries were reported among the IDF troops.

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit informed TV7 that the retaliatory bombardments were also conducted against Hezbollah installations in Southern Lebanon, including strikes on “observation posts belonging to the Hezbollah terror organization in the border area” by Israeli attack helicopters and other aircraft.

Lebanese sources informed TV7 that a fire broke out in the village of Meiss al-Jabal as a result of the IDF operation,  but there have been no reports of injury or damage incurred by the civilian population.

Israeli Alternate Premier and Defense Minister Benny Gantz vowed that Hezbollah Chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah will not be allowed to “harm our soldiers or our country,” while warning that “we will respond forcefully to any incidents on our border.”

Israel’s top Defense official also addressed ongoing terror attacks by Palestinian Islamists in Gaza, vowing to “restore complete quiet to our southern region.”

Amid the relentless wave of fire terrorism, Israeli Police Spokesman Supt. Mickey Rosenfeld said that the “most serious incident” yet took place in the city of Netivot yesterday after an explosion was detonated near a group of children. Fortunately, there were no deaths or injuries in the attack. Supt. Rosenfeld said that “Police bomb disposal experts are continuing to patrol the southern part of Israel and respond to suspicious balloons attached to them explosive devices that are landing both inside community areas as well as in open areas,” and that “heightened security is continuing and our patrols also continuing in all different areas at the moment.”

In retaliation, Israel “fighter jets and aircraft struck an underground infrastructure belonging to the Hamas terror organization in the Southern Gaza Strip,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit confirmed to TV7, stating yet again that “the IDF remains ready to operate decisively against any attempted terror activity aimed at Israeli civilians or any violation of Israeli sovereignty.”