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IDF thwarts Hezbollah attempt to damage border fence

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant confirmed that IDF forces "deterred Hezbollah activists with non-lethal means."

IDF Artillery Corps personnel near the border with Lebanon, July 6, 2023. Photo by Ayal Margolin/Flash90.
IDF Artillery Corps personnel near the border with Lebanon, July 6, 2023. Photo by Ayal Margolin/Flash90.

The Israel Defense Forces foiled on Wednesday an attempt by Hezbollah to damage the fence along the northern border with Lebanon, the military said.

Several suspects approached the barrier, prompting troops to use unspecified “non-lethal” dispersal methods.

“The IDF will continue to act to prevent any violation of the sovereignty of the State of Israel,” it added.

A security source in southern Lebanon told AFP that three Hezbollah members were wounded by “Israeli fire.” Another source cited by the wire service claimed a sound grenade was used and that they were “lightly” hurt.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant confirmed that Israeli forces “deterred Hezbollah activists with non-lethal means and will continue to guard the security of the State of Israel.”

Several hours later, the IDF fired warning shots at a group of Hezbollah operatives who launched fireworks and set fires near the Israeli border town of Metula.

Both incidents came on the 17th anniversary of the start of the 2006 war between the IDF and Hezbollah.

Tensions in the north have been high since Hezbollah pitched two tents in early April a few meters on the Israeli side of the U.N.-marked Blue Line in the Mount Dov region.

The position, located across from an Israeli military base, was reportedly manned by three to eight armed terrorists. While the area isn’t home to any Israeli civilian communities, it’s one in which the IDF operates continuously to thwart incursions into Israeli territory.

It was reported on July 2 that Hezbollah had removed one of the tents.

On Monday, Israeli media reported that the United States has proposed that Jerusalem halt construction on a security barrier in a village on the Israel-Lebanon border in exchange for the removal of the tent.

Ghajar, an Alawite village, is divided by the Blue Line. Its residents hold Israeli citizenship and many in the northern portion also have Lebanese passports.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry revealed in May that Hezbollah has in the past year constructed no fewer than 27 military posts along the Blue Line. The posts were built under the guise of Green without Borders, a Hezbollah-affiliated organization that poses as an environmental NGO.

Hezbollah launched the project in parallel to Israel’s construction of a fortified perimeter fence along the 140-kilometer (90-mile) border.

According to United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War, the terrorist group is forbidden from operating near the frontier.

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