Israeli forces stopped a Hezbollah terror cell, with no injuries to IDF troops, but Israel is still expecting another strike by the Iran-backed terror group.
By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel
IDF troops on high alert on the Lebanese border intercepted a Hezbollah terror cell Monday on the Israel-Lebanon border, forcing the terrorists to retreat in a heavy exchange of fire.
No Israeli troops or civilians were injured in the incident, officials said.
On Monday afternoon Israel civil defense authorities suddenly ordered all residents of the upper Galilee region to shelter indoors after the IDF spotted a terror cell trying to infiltrate into Israeli territory.
The IDF already had reinforced its troops on the northern border and put them on high alert. The Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization threatened last week to attack Israel after one of its mercenaries was killed in an airstrike in Syria that they blamed on Israel.
According to the IDF, three to five terrorists crossed the international border and fled back to Lebanon after they were fired on. Contrary to reports in Lebanese media, the IDF stressed that no anti-tank fire was directed at Israel, and after about two hours the all-clear was given – northern roads were opened to traffic and residents were told to return to their normal routine.
However, the Hezbollah threat remains, and an army spokesperson statement said that several “tense days” still lie ahead.
The attempted attack took place in an area without Israeli settlements but also where there is no physical barrier between Lebanon and Israel due to the mountainous terrain. Hezbollah has carried out several attacks in the exact same area in recent years.
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.”
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