In a statement issued late Friday following an attack on IDF forces along the Lebanese border, Lebanon’s government asserted its citizens had the right to “resist Israeli occupation,” an apparent implied reference to Hezbollah terrorist forces.
According to Reuters, the government said it “affirms the right of Lebanese citizens to resist Israeli occupation and repel aggressions and recover occupied territory.”
Reuters reported that the statement reflected a compromise within the government: It effectively recognized the right of Hezbollah – an independent group outside of the official state military – to oppose Israel militarily, although it did so in an indirect manner.
This agreement, the report continued, was expected to end months of deadlock between factions of the coalition, which includes Hezbollah, and opened the door for a parliamentary vote of confidence in Prime Minister Tammam Salam government.
The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an al-Qaeda linked group that opposes Hezbollah, claimed responsibility via Twitter for the attack on the IDF patrol Friday.
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. A roadside bomb was detonated against the jeep, causing no casualties.
The IDF fired on several targets across the border in retaliation, including tank fire at a Hezbollah position in the Lebanese village Kfar Kileh.