IDF soldiers came under attack late Wednesday morning near the border with Lebanon after anti-tank missiles were fired at an IDF patrol. Two soldiers are confirmed dead.
Four soldiers were initially reported seriously wounded in the northern Har Dov area in a part of the border that does not have a fence. Seven soldiers have been injured in total.
Reports indicate that an army vehicle was targeted by an anti-tank missile. Simultaneously, IDF positions along the border were hit with mortar shells. A mortar also hit an IDF outpost on Mount Hermon.
Israel responded to the attack by opening fire on positions in southern Lebanon. Artillery shells struck known Hezbollah strongholds in the border region. A UNFIL soldier from Spain died on the Lebanese side of the border following Israeli shelling of Hezbollah positions.
The Lebanese Daily Star reported that eight shells fired by Israel hit targets inside Lebanon following the attack. More than 50 shells have been fired thus far. Hezbollah has claimed responsibility for the attack on the IDF convoy. “At 11:30 a group of Shiuhada’ al Quneitra hit an Israeli convoy with officers and soldiers,” a Hezbollah communique read.
Residents living near the border were told to stay indoors and enter their protective shelters. “All residents are asked to return to their homes and to close all doors and windows until further notice,” an IDF Home Front Command text message read to residents in the area. Vacationers and hikers in the north were ordered to evacuate the northern region by the army.
In response to the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated, “To all those who try to challenge us on the north, I suggest you look at what happened in the Gaza Strip.”
Wednesday’s attack comes less than 24 hours after two rockets exploded in the Golan Heights on Tuesday afternoon. The rockets, which were launched from Syrian territory, is part of an attack attributed by the IDF to Hezbollah.
The Lebanese terror organization vowed revenge after an alleged IAF airstrike killed Hezbollah and Iranian operatives, including high level commanders, ten days ago.
Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon issued a stern warning to Hezbollah and its patron, Syria, on Wednesday stating: “The Assad regime is responsible for the fire into Israel, and we will exact a heavy price from any government or organization that violates our borders. We have no intention of ignoring or abiding terrorist attacks on our soldiers and citizens.”