IDF retaliates with shelling after 2 rockets fired from Lebanon toward Israel

Hezbollah accuses Israel of trying to occupy the Lebanese part of the village of Ghajar, located near the border

Yoav Zitun, Yair Kraus, Daniel Salami |Updated:
The international news agency Reuters reported Thursday morning that two rockets was fired from southern Lebanon toward Israeli territory after an explosion was heard in the area around 8:00 a.m. Meanwhile, a large military presence is visible in the area of the village of Ghajar, located near the border with Lebanon.
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Three security officials reportedly confirmed the information to Reuters. IDF officials initially claimed that "a rocket launch is not known, and a mine explosion may have been heard. Shortly after, the IDF said in a statement that an investigation revealed that a launch was made from Lebanese territory that exploded near the border, in Israeli territory and that the IDF retaliated by fired dozens of shells into Lebanon toward the area of the rocket launch.
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פיצוץ בגבול לבנון
פיצוץ בגבול לבנון
Smoke rises on the border with Lebanon
UNIFIL officials told the media in Lebanon that they are not aware of any rocket launch, and that they believe it was the explosion of an old mine. At the same time, Al-Arabiya reported that the Lebanese army began scanning the area to locate the source of the explosion and search for launchers that may be in the area.
In a video published by Lebanon's Al-Manar network, images of billowing smoke were published from two scenes where an explosion was heard - one in the village of Ghajar, and the other from the nearby Shebaa farm area. Residents in the village reported hearing four explosions.
Belal Khatib, the spokesman for the village of Ghajar, told Ynet: "A little after 8:00 in the morning we heard an explosion of a strong fall very close to our houses, down in Nahal Hatsabani, on the Lebanese side. We didn't understand what happened. We saw the smoke coming out - and it was over on the other side. The army said they were investigating the issue, and they still have no idea what happened there. It didn't sound like a mine but like a rocket falling. There are no mines in this area."
On Thursday morning, Hezbollah accused Israel of trying to occupy the Lebanese part of the village by placing a wire fence and building a concrete wall around it. "The Zionist occupation forces recently took dangerous measures in the northern region in a village on the border on the Lebanese side recognized by the United Nations," Hezbollah said in a statement. "They put up a barbed wire fence and built a concrete wall around the entire village – similar to what was done on the border between Israel and Lebanon – which cut off the this village with its natural and historical surroundings. Israel imposed full sovereignty on both parts of the village, the Lebanese and the occupied, and opened it to tourists."
The statement continues: "These dangerous measures are a complete occupation of the Lebanese part of the village of Ghajar by imposing a fait accompli, this is not a routine violation. In view of this dangerous development, we call on all the institutions of Lebanon, the Lebanese people and especially the government, to act to prevent the establishment of this occupation, to cancel the aggressive measures taken, to liberate the village and return it to the homeland."
A Hezbollah operative was spotted in the organization's tent on the Israeli side of the Blue Line border with Lebanon, in the Mount Dov area.
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פעיל חיזבאללה נצפה באוהל של הארגון בצד הישראלי של הגבול עם לבנון, באזור הר דב
פעיל חיזבאללה נצפה באוהל של הארגון בצד הישראלי של הגבול עם לבנון, באזור הר דב
A Hezbollah operative was spotted in the organization's tent on the Israeli side of the border with Lebanon, in the Mount Dov area
On Sunday, security officials in Israel confirmed that Hezbollah operatives dismantled one of the two tents set up on Israeli territory on Mount Dov, near the Lebanese border, over the weekend . However, they noted that the number of people staying in the camp did not change – between six and eight armed men who remained in the tent that remained in place in Israeli territory.
Hezbollah moved the tent to the Lebanese side – north of the blue line. The dismantling was carried out in stages, so the Israel Defense Forces could not say for sure that Hezbollah has left the territory as it waits to see what happens with the second tent. From the IDF's point of view, until the second tent and the Hezbollah forces that are roaming around the border are evacuated, the mission is not complete. Israel estimates that this step stems from the heavy international pressure exerted on the Lebanese government, both by the United States and by France and the United Nations
In mid-May, the terrorist organization placed two temporary structures – a container and a tent south of the blue line, crossing more than 30 meters into Israeli territory. On May 30, another tent was erected next to the first tent, 55 meters south of the blue line and inside Israeli territory.
A month later, an appeal was made to the United Nations with a request to intervene and order Hezbollah to return the tents to the Lebanese side. Israel also asked the US and France to pressure Beirut to vacate the tents.
About three months ago, the heaviest barrage of rockets seen on the northern border since 2006, during the Second Lebanon War, was fired from Lebanon into Israel.
First published: 11:33, 07.06.23
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