ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 139

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Hezbollah chief says Megiddo bombing ‘confused’ Israel, won’t comment further

More than a week after blast blamed on Lebanese infiltrator seriously wounded Israeli civilian, Nasrallah warns any Israeli attack ‘will be met with a swift response’

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Supporters of the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah attend a televised speech by the group's leader Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut's southern suburbs, on February 16, 2023. (Anwar Amro/ AFP)
Supporters of the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah attend a televised speech by the group's leader Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut's southern suburbs, on February 16, 2023. (Anwar Amro/ AFP)

Hezbollah terror chief Hassan Nasrallah on Wednesday broke his group’s silence on a blast on a highway in northern Israel last week, which was carried out by a man who infiltrated from Lebanon.

In a televised speech, Nasrallah said the terror group would not be commenting on the bombing at the Megiddo Junction, which is suspected to have been orchestrated by Hezbollah.

Instead, he said the attack “confused” Israel, and that “our silence is part of the political, media, military, and psychological battle with the enemy.”

“We are not required to comment on every incident,” he said.

Nasrallah added that “any Zionist attack on Lebanon, military or security, in any region and against any person in Lebanon, whether he is Lebanese or Palestinian or of another nationality, will be met with a swift response from the resistance.”

Israel has threatened to respond to the March 13 bombing that seriously wounded an Israeli man, Shareef ad-Din, but has yet to say definitively which group carried it out.

The scene of a bombing at Megiddo Junction in northern Israel, March 13, 2023. (Courtesy; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The suspected terrorist was shot dead by Israeli forces near the border with Lebanon several hours after the bombing. He was armed with a primed explosives belt.

He was suspected to have crossed into Israel a day before the attack by using a ladder to climb over the border fence.

The IDF said it expects that the ongoing construction work to build a wall along the northern frontier to replace an aging fence will be completed within two years.

The IDF has said the man planted the bomb, possibly on behalf of the Iran-backed Hezbollah, which maintains tight control of southern Lebanon. The possibility of the attack being a joint effort between a Palestinian faction in Lebanon and Hezbollah was also being evaluated by the IDF.

The bomb itself was considered unusual according to the IDF, and did not appear to be similar to explosive devices used by Palestinians in recent months. Ad-Din’s car, which was hit by the shrapnel, was around 30 meters (98 feet) away from the device when it went off.

Israeli soldiers are seen on the Lebanese border, March 13, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant last week issued a warning to “whomever is responsible” for the bombing, without explicitly mentioning the prime suspect, Hezbollah.

Hezbollah has long been the IDF’s most significant adversary on Israel’s borders, with an estimated arsenal of nearly 150,000 rockets and missiles that can reach anywhere in Israel.

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