The Israeli military has boosted its forces on its northern front as tensions rose along Israel's frontier with Syria and Lebanon after an operative from Hezbollah was killed in an apparent Israeli strike on the edge of Damascus last week.
No Israeli soldiers were hurt, and the IDF denied Lebanese media reports that a Kornet anti-tank guided missile was sacked at an Israeli tank on Mount Dov, also known as Shebaa Farms, an area that Israel, Lebanon, and Syria each claim as its own.
A picture taken from the Israeli side of the Blue Line that separates Israel and Lebanon shows smoke billowing above Mount Dov on the Israeli-Lebanese border, after reports of clashes between the IDF and Hezbollah in the area, on July 27, 2020.
The Israeli military apparently continues to regularly patrol the border area with Lebanon after sealing off several underground tunnels a year ago that were built by Hezbollah from the country's territory.
Israel has over the past two days announced a reinforced troop presence on its northern border.
The incident started around 3:00 p.m. local time and the Army ordered all residents of the Upper Galilee region to remain indoors until further notice.
"Hezbollah and the state of Lebanon bear full responsibility for this incident and any attack that comes from Lebanese territory against the state of Israel", Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised address. It captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Middle East war.
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Israel sees the presence of Hezbollah and its ally Iran in Syria as a strategic threat and has mounted hundreds of raids on Iran-linked targets there. "We are constantly monitoring what is unfolding on our northern border".
Hezbollah seeks Lebanon's strength and independence, Sheikh Qassem said, adding that the party's popularity, not military power, enabled it to be represented effectively in the parliament and the government.
Israel and Hezbollah fought to a stalemate in a month-long war in Lebanon in 2006.
On Monday, five Iran-backed fighters were killed in an Israeli missile strike south of the Syrian capital Damascus, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. "We operate in all the arenas for Israel's defence - close to our borders and far from our borders". Lebanon and Syria are responsible for any attack from its territory against Israel.
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) spokesperson, Andrea Tenenti, said after the incident that the Head of Mission and Force Commander Major General Stefano Del Col was in contact with both sides to assess the situation and mitigate tensions.
Media reports meanwhile said that Hizbullah is expected to issue a statement on the developments.