Photo: Reuters
Shelling in Har Dov (Archive Photo)
Photo: Reuters

Hizbullah ups ante

Mortar attack appears to be response to warning shot fired by IDF; Israelis were trying to ward off Lebanese shepherd who crossed international border; Lebanese say shots were fired at houses

HAR DOV - Hizbullah fired mortar shells at IDF bases in the Har Dov (Shebaa Farms) area, along the Israel-Lebanon border Saturday. Eight shells landed near the Gladiola Post, but there are no reported injuries.


Meanwhile, the IDF has put its forces along the border on full alert and helicopter gunships have been scrambled. 


According to the IDF, soldiers fired warning shots over the head of a Lebanese shepherd who had crossed the international border, near Gladiola. The incident was soon followed by the sounds of explosions.


Campaigning Hizbullah-style


The IDF believes that the shepherd incident was a deliberate provocation.


"Hizbullah engages in provocations in order to escalate the border conflict," sources within the IDF Northern Command told Ynetnews.


The sources believe that such attacks will continue in the lead up to the Lebanese elections as way for the group to boost its popularity.


The Iranian-backed Lebanese Shiite militia told Ynetnews that the mortar attack was in response to an earlier provocation by the IDF.


Quoting Lebanese sources, the Reuters news agency reported that Israeli soldiers had opened fire on three houses on the Lebanese side of the border.


North heating up


The last flare-up on the northern border occurred last week.


During a minesweeping operation, the Israelis accidentally fired a 155 milimeter shell into Lebanon.  In response, an unidentified Lebanese group fired a Katyusha rocket on the town of Shlomi, leading to an exchange of fire between the IDF and Hizbullah.


The Shiites fired at least a dozen mortar shells at Gladiola and its surrounding environs in the Har Dov area, but no one was hurt. 



-- Ali Waked and Roee Nachmias contributed to this report


פרסום ראשון: 05.21.05, 16:20
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