According to IDF Spokesperson, no injuries or casualties reported after Hezbollah militants fired at least 3 Kornet anti-tank missiles at a military position and IDF ambulance near Moshav Avivim at around 4 PM local time.
There were no injuries after several anti-tank missiles were fired by Hezbollah from Lebanon towards an IDF base and military vehicles northern Israel, IDF Spokesperson Brig.-Gen. Ronen Manelis confirmed Sunday afternoon.
“A number of anti-aircraft missiles were fired from Lebanon at an IDF base and military vehicles in the area,” the IDF said. “There are a number of confirmed hits.”
PM Netanyahu on #Hezbollah attack earlier today:
We were attacked with several anti-tank missiles. We responded with 100 shells and firing from the air by various means. We have no casualties.
We will decide on the next steps pending developments.pic.twitter.com/V0wkAZaoQZ
— Israel Foreign Ministry (@IsraelMFA) September 1, 2019
According to Manelis, Hezbollah fired at least three Kornet anti-tank missiles at a military position and military ambulance at around 4 in the afternoon. There were no injuries or casualties in the attack.
Manelis stated that while Hezbollah was able to carry out their retaliation, the military had been prepared for the scenario of an anti-tank missile attack and had taken the necessary precautions to ensure that there would be no casualties.
Following the Kornet attack, Israel’s military returned fire at targets in southern Lebanon, firing over 100 artillery shells as well as an airstrike against the cell responsible for the attack.
Hezbollah took responsibility for the attack near the community of Avivim and was quoted by the Al Manar television channel as saying that “at 16.15 Hasan Zbeeb and Yasser Daher’s brigade destroyed an Israeli military vehicle near the border, killing and wounding those inside.”
The IDF later refuted those claims.
Lebanese media reported that in retaliation the IDF shelled sites near the Lebanese border town of Maroun al-Ras but by 6.30PM a tense quiet returned to the border.
The military nevertheless warned that it was not yet sure if the attack on Avivim was the full extent of Hezbollah’s retaliation for an Israeli airstrike on Saturday night against an Iranian led cell in Syria which killed two Hezbollah members planning a drone attack on Israel.
Lebanon’s LBC’s news channel that Hezbollah warned that “retaliation over drones will be in kind, and will be at its own time and according to its own circumstances.”
Following the attack the military ordered residents living within 4 kilometers of the border to remain in their homes and open their bomb shelters. Any activity along the border fence area, including agricultural work, is prohibited and the IDF urged residents of the area not to travel on open roads near the border.
While the military later removed all restrictions, the IDF said that it “will continue to keep a high threat level-both defense and offensive-for a wide variety of scenarios.”
United Nations peacekeepers were reported to be in contact with officials from both sides in an effort to contain the of violence along the border.
“As UNIFIL is following up on the firing across the Blue Line, UNIFIL Force Commander and Head of Mission Major General Stefano Del Col is in contact with the parties urging the maximum restraint and asked to cease all activities endangering the cessation of hostilities,” UNIFIL said in a statement.
According to Manelis, UNIFIL Commander Maj.-Gen. Stefano Del Col was in Israel on Sunday morning and met with IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi who told him Israel’s position on Hezbollah and their precision missile project.
DECLASSIFIED: These are the senior Iranian commanders running Hezbollah’s precision missile project in Lebanon. pic.twitter.com/4bw24MBoco
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) August 29, 2019
Lebanon’s National News Agency reported that Prime Minister Sa’ad Hariri called for the intervention of the United States, France and the international community to stop the escalation along the border.
Israeli Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was meeting with the President of Honduras at the time of the attack, was receiving constant updates on the situation along the northern border.
“We are consulting about the future, are prepared for any scenario, and will decide on future actions depending on the developments,” he said.
According to reports Netanyahu had earlier told reporters that “Lebanon will pay the price.”
Israel’s enemies, especially Iran, should know that those who seek to destroy it risk destruction themselves, Netanyahu said earlier on Sunday, amid mounting tensions with Iran and its proxies in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza.
Speaking to students on the first day of school in Elkana, Netanyahu said it is clear today that most of the terrorism Israel faces is organized, sponosred and funded from one place: Iran.
“A new empire has arisen with the goal of defeating us,” he said. “They build proxies in Lebanon in the form of Hezbollah, in Gaza in the form of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. They are trying to entrench themselves in Iraq to turn it into not only a country through which it can transfer arms to Syria and Hezbollah, but also to turn it into a launching pad for rockets and infiltrations against us.”
Netanyahu said that Israel is fighting Iran on all these fronts, and is determined to prevent it from entrenching itself militarily in the region and from getting nuclear weapons, “which would unequivocally alter the balance.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin opened his meeting with the Ethiopian president warning that “we are ready and prepared to protect the citizens of Israel wherever they may be. We are ready, and we do not want to show you just how much. Take heed that the quiet can prevail only on both sides of the border.”
Earlier on Sunday the Hezbollah affiliated al-Manar news channel reported that the IDF fired several shells were fired causing fires on the Lebanese side but no injuries.
The Lebanese army reported that an Israeli drone dropped incendiary material on a forest along the border, sparking a fire. The statement by the Lebanse Armed Forces said that it was following up on the Israeli violation with UN peacekeepers.
“A short while ago, fires broke out in the Lebanese border area. The fires originate with operations by our forces in the area,” the IDF said in a statement.
Israel’s Northern Command has been on high alert since last week expecting a limited strike against military targets over strikes in Syria and an alleged Israeli drone attack in Beirut’s Dahiyeh last week.
The military set up roadblocks on arteries leading north, and has blocked traffic from entering several towns along the border.
Lebanon’s National News Agency reported on Saturday that the IDF launched over 30 flare bombs near the Lebanese border towns of Ghajar, Shebaa and Kfar Shuba as well and fired heavy machine guns near the villages of al-Semmaqah, al-Alam and al-Marsad.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said on Saturday evening that the military had also begun preparing ground, air, naval and intelligence troops for the possibility of an outbreak of violence in northern Israel, specifically in the Galilee. A convoy of artillery was seen been moved north by local residents.
In addition to the reinforcement of artillery batteries, Iron Dome missile defense batteries have been deployed and leave for combat soldiers in the area has been cancelled. The IDF has also closed the airspace to civilian flights, closing the civilian airport in Kiryat Shmona and has put the Navy on high alert for an attack by Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The moves are part of the military’s strengthening of power and readiness in anticipation of any retaliation by the Lebanese Shiite terror group which it expects against IDF troops or a military installation along the border.
On Saturday night Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah warned that it was “ineveitable” that the group will retaliate against Israel which he said claimed responsibility for attacks on Lebanon, Iraq and Syria.
“Normally, we respond from Shebaa Farms, but this time I wanted to say it would be open-ended where we would retaliate from. This time it won’t be restricted to coming from Shebaa,” Nasrallah was quoted as saying by the Hezbollah affiliated al-Manar Television Channel.
“The first retaliation on the Israeli aggression would be initiating our right to down Israeli drones.Israel should know that the Lebanese airspace is not open to its drones and the Resistance will choose the right time and place to target the Israeli drones in our airspace,” he continued.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi toured the area on Friday and the Head of the Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Amir Baram warned that Hezbollah and Lebanon would suffer a “harsh response” to any attack.
“You should be preparing not for Hezbollah’s response against the IDF, but for their response to our response” to such an attack, Baram said, vowing that “if an IDF soldier is so much as scratched, our response will be harsh.”
Herb Keinon contributed to this article.
View original The Jerusalem Post publication at: