A number of Hezbollah terrorists and dozens of armed Lebanese army soldiers briefly entered Israeli territory last week, according to Israel’s Army Radio.
The July 5 incident occurred in the area of Menara, a kibbutz adjacent to the Lebanese border in the Upper Galilee region, while the IDF was carrying out work on the border area.
According to the report, the Hezbollah operatives and uniformed Lebanese soldiers stayed on the Israeli side of the border for about 20 minutes. During this time, the IDF did not use dispersal methods, taking a cautious approach and attempting to resolve the issue via liaison channels with the United Nations’ peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon (UNIFIL).
“The incident occurred during routine engineering work by IDF forces in the Ramim Ridge area. The work continued as usual,” an IDF spokesperson said.
An Israeli military official confirmed that “suspects crossed the Blue Line, and moved away after a discussion on the liaison channels.”
Tensions have been high along the border after Hezbollah set up an outpost in early April on the Israeli side of the demarcation line. It is one of dozens of outposts that the Iranian-backed Lebanese terror group has set up along the contentious border with Israel.
“During the past year Hezbollah has erected at least 27 new military outposts along the Blue Line,” Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, wrote in a late June letter to the U.N. Security Council.
A Security Council resolution was passed after the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah and ratified by both Beirut and Jerusalem. Resolution 1701 stipulates that no armed forces are allowed south of the Litani River other than UNIFIL and the Lebanese army. It also calls for disarming Hebzollah.
The Israeli military carried out strikes against a missile launch site in southern Lebanon on July 6 after rockets were fired toward Israeli territory. It is believed that the missiles were fired by Palestinian factions and not by Hezbollah.