Amid Hezbollah threats, IDF raises alert on Lebanon border

Communities along Lebanese border put on high alert after Shiite militia vows to retaliate for alleged Israeli attack

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

An IDF vehicle patrols near the border with Lebanon, May 2013 (photo credit: Avishag Shaar Yashuv/Flash90)
An IDF vehicle patrols near the border with Lebanon, May 2013 (photo credit: Avishag Shaar Yashuv/Flash90)

Israel put its troops on the northern border with Lebanon on high alert Wednesday, shortly after Hezbollah threatened retaliation for an alleged Israeli airstrike on an arms convoy from Syria.

No special instructions were given to residents of the Galilee, but the IDF was concerned of a possible Hezbollah attack.

Civil defense in communities near the Lebanese border were instructed to be on alert for a Hezbollah reprisal, and farmers in the north were told to stay away from the border fence.

Lebanese media reported Monday that Israeli Air Force jets struck targets near the border with Syria in the Bekaa Valley.

Lebanon’s Daily Star reported that two trucks transferring missiles and a missile launcher were targeted in the raid as they were being transported from Syria to a Hezbollah storage facility. However, Hezbollah denied that a missile or artillery site was the target.

Israel and Hezbollah both denied the reports at the time, but a senior Israeli security official told Time magazine on Tuesday that the Jewish state was indeed behind the bombing.

On Wednesday, Hezbollah acknowledged it was attacked by Israel and warned that it would strike back when and where it deemed appropriate.

A Iranian politician also acknowledged the alleged Israeli strike on Hezbollah on Wednesday, saying Tehran was shocked that Israel “didn’t learn from its previous attempts.”

“If the Zionist entity is thinking about carrying out an attack, Hezbollah will cause it to taste defeat again,” Alaeddin Boroujerdi,  chairman of the Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security in the Iranian parliament, told reporters in Tehran.

Israel and Hezbollah fought a month-long war in 2006.

Boroujerdi said that Hezbollah reserved the right to retaliate against Israel and warned that Israel would be defeated if it were to initiate a confrontation with the Lebanese Shiite militia.

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