Tension has risen along Israel’s northern frontier with Lebanon and Syria, including the occupied Golan Heights, after a Hezbollah fighter was killed in an apparent Israeli air attack on the edge of Damascus last Monday.
Hezbollah’s second-in-command Naim Qasim said in a televised interview on Sunday “if the Israelis decide to launch a war, we will confront it and we will respond”.
Israeli forces exchanged fire with Hezbollah fighters along the volatile Israeli-Lebanese frontier on Monday, the heaviest fighting between the bitter enemies in nearly a year.
The Israeli army’s Arabic-language spokesperson Avichay Adraee said troops foiled the Hezbollah attack by three or four men who infiltrated a few meters over the Blue Line, which demarcates Israel’s 2000 withdrawal from Lebanon.
There were no casualties among Israeli forces, Adraee said.
Hezbollah carried out the operation against Israeli soldiers in the disputed Shebaa Farms area, Reuters news agency quoted unnamed sources familiar with the situation as saying.
The raid was in retaliation after an Israel air raid near the Syrian capital, Damascus, killed a Hezbollah fighter last week, the sources said.
Residents in the area were ordered to stay in their houses and “any kind of activity in open areas is forbidden”, an Israeli army statement said.
There was no immediate statement by Hezbollah, but its Al-Manar television channel reported calm had returned to the area. Read here