Israeli forces killed three terrorists attempting to enter Israel from Lebanon, Channel 12 reported on Monday afternoon.
At least three Israeli soldiers sustained moderate wounds in the exchange of fire, the report added. The Israel Defense Forces were searching the area to make sure additional terrorists had not entered the country.
“The IDF forces killed a number of militants who crossed into Israeli territory from Lebanese territory,” the army confirmed in a statement.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Al-Quds Brigades, in a statement posted on Telegram, claimed responsibility for the cross-border attack. It said seven “Zionist soldiers” had been injured.
Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya said it was treating six people in relation to the incident, including one in critical condition and one in serious condition.
Israeli helicopter gunships struck targets in Southern Lebanon in response, the military said.
Residents near the border fence were instructed to remain in their homes, with their doors locked and lights out, until further notice.
In the cities of Kiryat Shmona and Ma’alot, residents were told to immediately enter bomb shelters.
Earlier, an official in the Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist group cited by Reuters had denied the organization’s involvement in the incident. A Lebanese security official told the wire service that the cell belonged to Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Earlier on Monday, a mortar shell from Lebanon hit an open area, also in the Upper Galilee but further east, the IDF said.
Sirens sounded in Moshav Ramot Naftali and Kibbutz Yiftah, south of Kiryat Shmona and near Lebanon, the army said.
On Monday night, several additional rockets were fired from Lebanon at Israel, causing no damage.
The IDF said that no one was injured in that attack.
‘Palestine is not Ukraine’
On Sunday, IDF artillery hit targets in Southern Lebanon after Hezbollah terrorists there fired mortars at the Jewish state. The military confirmed that there were no casualties in the Hezbollah attack.
The enemy shells hit in the contested Mount Dov region close to the Blue Line, which demarcates the 120-kilometer (75-mile) border and was created in 2000 by U.N. cartographers to verify Israel’s withdrawal from Lebanon.
Hezbollah claimed responsibility for Sunday’s fire, saying it targeted three Israeli military sites in solidarity with the “Palestinian resistance.”
Also on Sunday, the IDF fired an interceptive missile at an “unidentified object flying” near the Upper Galilee city of Safed.
A subsequent investigation revealed that it was not a hostile aircraft and posed no threat to Israeli residents.
On Monday, Hezbollah threatened to strike U.S. assets in the Middle East should Washington intervene directly in the conflict with Hamas.
“Palestine is not Ukraine,” a spokesperson for the Lebanese terrorist group said in a statement. “If the U.S. intervenes directly, all U.S. positions in the region will become legitimate targets of the resistance axis and face our attacks. And on that day, there will be no red line.”
The Pentagon announced on Sunday that it was sending “additional equipment and resources, including munitions” to the Israel Defense Forces while redirecting a Carrier Strike Group led by the USS Gerald R. Ford, the largest warship ever constructed, to the eastern Mediterranean.
The security assistance “will begin moving today and arriving in the coming days,” said U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III and the Department of Defense, adding that the decision was in response to the “abhorrent terrorist attack by Hamas.”
In April, Hamas fired 34 rockets from Southern Lebanon towards northern Israel, in the biggest attack emanating from the Hezbollah-controlled country since the 2006 Second Lebanon War.