Israel Defense Forces soldiers fired warning shots at a Hezbollah terrorist who had thrown a firebomb from Southern Lebanon into Israeli territory on Sunday evening.
The attack, which took place near the Israeli border town of Metula, did not cause any injuries, the IDF said, adding that the firebomb damaged water infrastructure near the security fence.
It was the latest in a series of provocations along the Jewish state’s northern frontier that have raised tensions with Hezbollah.
Late last month, the IDF revealed that armed Hezbollah terrorists were spotted patrolling the border in violation of a binding U.N. resolution.
The military noted the Hezbollah operatives did not cross the Blue Line, the U.N.-delineated border marking Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon in 2000, and they were kept under strict surveillance the entire time.
However, according to U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701, which was passed after the 2006 Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed terrorist group is forbidden to operate anywhere near the frontier. The resolution also called for disarming Lebanon’s de facto rulers.
On July 12, the IDF foiled an attempt by Hezbollah to damage the border fence. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that Israeli troops “deterred Hezbollah activists with non-lethal means and will continue to guard the security of the State of Israel.”
In early April, Hezbollah pitched two tents a few meters on the Israeli side of the Blue Line. The position, located across from an IDF post, was reportedly manned by three to eight armed terrorists.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry has revealed that Hezbollah has in the past year constructed no fewer than 27 military posts along the border. The posts were built under the guise of Green without Borders, which poses as an environmental NGO.
On March 15, a terrorist who infiltrated from Lebanon planted a roadside bomb in northern Israel that severely wounded a motorist. Shareef ad-Din, 21, from the Israeli Arab town of Salem, was hurt when the explosive device detonated behind a road barrier near the Megiddo Junction, some 18 miles southeast of Haifa.
In a Hebrew-language video statement published last week, Gallant warned Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah “not to make a mistake.”
“If … an escalation or conflict develops here, we will return Lebanon to the Stone Age. We will not hesitate to use all our power and erode every inch of Hezbollah and Lebanon if we have to,” Gallant said.
“We don’t want war, but we are ready to protect our citizens, our soldiers and our sovereignty,” he added.