An Al-Qaeda-linked group that has been operating increasingly in Lebanon claimed responsibility via Twitter for an attack on an IDF patrol Friday.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has been fighting against Hezbollah and the Bashar Assad regime in Syria, with clashes and targeted bombings spilling over into Lebanon in recent months.
It was initially reported by Israeli media that the attack on the IDF jeep in the Har Dov area, near the Israeli-Lebanese border, was perpetrated by Hezbollah. The IDF fired on several targets across the border in retaliation, including tank fire at a Hezbollah position in the Lebanese village Kfar Kileh.
Three Israeli soldiers were taken to a hospital to “rule out” any internal injuries from the blast, according to Israel Radio.
Residents in the area of Har Dov reported hearing two loud explosions.
Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV station said that Israeli forces had fired shells into the area of Kfar Chouba, north of the border. There were no injuries reported.
The army said it was investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Residents of northern Israel, from Kiryat Shmona eastward to the Golan Heights, were cautioned to stay away from the border.
The Lebanese army declared a state of alert, according to Israel’s Channel 1 News, and eyewitnesses reported seeing increased UNIFIL patrols in the border area late in the evening.