Jerusalem | Climbing coming up? Or incident without a future? The Israeli army claimed Wednesday morning air strikes against Hezbollah positions near the Lebanese-Israeli border where UN peacekeepers are patrolling, in “response” to fire from the Shiite movement towards its soldiers.
“There was fire from Lebanon towards Israeli soldiers (…) The soldiers responded with flares and fire. Then, during the night, helicopter gunships and planes hit Hezbollah posts, ”said the Israeli army, which did not report any casualties in its ranks.
Earlier in the night, the Israeli army announced a “security incident” near the kibbutz of Manara, along the “Blue Line”, the de facto border separating the two theoretically warring countries.
Israeli sources had told AFP of shooting from Lebanon into Israel. And the Lebanese national news agency had, for its part, mentioned the launching of “flares” from Israel towards the sector of Mays al-Jabal, located opposite Manara, as well as Israeli fire “with an automatic weapon”. .
The Israeli army said it took this event “very seriously” and affirmed “to hold the Lebanese government responsible for what is happening on its territory”.
Earlier this month, Israel offered humanitarian aid to Lebanon in the wake of the deadly explosions in Beirut and the metropolis of Tel Aviv lit the facade of its town hall in the colors of the Lebanese flag, a gesture criticized by part of the right. Israeli because in theory Lebanon remains an enemy country.
The new border incident comes as Lebanese Hezbollah announced this weekend that it had shot down an Israeli drone that had crossed the border into Lebanon, Israel simply saying that one of its drones had “fallen into Lebanese territory.”
Critique of UNIFIL
Israel notably accuses Iran and its ally Hezbollah of seeking to transform rockets in Lebanon into precision missiles capable of thwarting the Israeli anti-missile shield Iron Dome and thus causing significant damage to Israeli strategic positions.
The Hebrew state also claimed at the end of July that it had repelled an attempt to infiltrate Hezbollah fighters on Israeli soil.
The Lebanese Shiite movement had denied any involvement in the incident, which took place after alleged Israeli missiles fired at positions of the Syrian army and their allies south of Damascus.
Since the start of the war in Syria, Israel has carried out numerous raids in that country, in particular against elements of Lebanese Hezbollah and Iranian forces which support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against various rebellions.
Some 10,500 peacekeepers from the UN Interim Force (UNIFIL) monitor the Lebanese-Israeli border and ensure the implementation of Security Council resolution 1701 adopted after the war between Israel and Hezbollah to warn of a new conflict.
However, Israel called last week, with the approach of the renewal of the UNIFIL mandate, for a reform of this UN mission, which it accused of “partiality” and “ineffectiveness” because it did not, according to the Hebrew state, no access to all areas of southern Lebanon.
Almost to the day last year, the 1er September 2019, heavy exchanges of fire at the border between the two countries recalled, the story of a day, the specter of the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah.