The soldiers were painted blood red and bandaged, then were dramatically stretchered off an IDF helicopter in a display more suited to war or military operations. After normalization returned to the area, the soldiers were released from Rambam.
In a first message after the anti-tank missiles attack on the Israel-Lebanon border, the IDF reported of "several hits" and for a few long hours didn’t publish a clarification on these reports even though it was clear there was no one hurt in the attack. Hezbollah took the bait and declared the attack an achievement and reported they had managed to wound and even kill a few Israeli soldiers.
The IDF was ready for Hezbollah to attack a military vehicle, and planned ahead for soldiers to be mock evacuated. So from the moment the Hezbollah opened fire, the IDF decided to keep things as vague as possible.
The scene looked pretty dramatic, firing of dozens of artillery shells, shooting from a battle helicopter and keeping information about casualties as vague as possible.
During the event, a helicopter took off from the military base with two soldiers on board to Rambam hospital, but the two soldiers were released soon after.
Only after Hezbollah declared they had successfully wounded four Israeli soldiers, did the IDF officially announced there were no casualties whatsoever and that continued escalation was up to Hezbollah. However Hezbollah says the event is over for them, and that the ball is in Israel's court now.
A little after 4.30pm, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit made the following statement: “In continuation of the report of the event near Avivim, several anti-tank missiles were fired from Lebanon towards an IDF base and vehicles. There were a few hits and the IDF has returned fire towards the source of the attack in southern Lebanon. Further details will be given later. We ask everybody to avoid any unofficial reports.”
At the very same time, a helicopter landed in the northern border, and took two soldiers to Rambam for unspecified reasons, the IDF said. “The two were examined in the Intensive care unit, and were released shortly after without any medical assistance.”
Meanwhile, Hezbollah spent hours claiming four IDF casualties.
“At 4:15pm, a squad named after Hassan Zineb and Yasser Daher (two Hezbollah operatives who were killed in an IDF attack near Damascus this weekend) destroyed two IDF vehicles in the Avivim region. There are casualties and fatalities in the event,” group said.
Later, the Al-Mayadeen network, which is affiliated with Hezbollah, reported that, "there are reports that Israel's main concern is evacuating any casualties from the area - there are four wounded on Israel's side."
During the evening, Hezbollah's claims became bizarre and laughable.
Al Mayadeen reported that, “Israel was willing to sacrifice a soldier's life and an additional vehicle to repair the border fence. Hezbollah men saw a dark skinned IDF soldier of Ethiopian descent and avoided taking action."
And Naim Qassem, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah's lieutenant said: "Hezbollah was able to show its true strength today. We forced Israel into new rules of engagement, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and a kill for a kill. Hezbollah wants to keep its deterrence and rules of engagement; we are on a winning road, both declarative and practically.”