Israel said to warn Hezbollah against attacks abroad
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Israel said to warn Hezbollah against attacks abroad

Jerusalem sent message to Beirut that it would respond harshly to to a retaliatory assault, Arabic media reports

Israel's Embassy to the United States in Washington, D.C., file photo (CC-BY-SA Krokodyl/Wikimedia Commons)
Israel's Embassy to the United States in Washington, D.C., file photo (CC-BY-SA Krokodyl/Wikimedia Commons)

Jerusalem has issued a stern warning to Lebanese terror group Hezbollah that any attack on Israeli targets worldwide will be met with a strong response by the Jewish state, London-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat reported Monday.

Western diplomats quoted by the paper said the message — coming in the wake of heightened tensions over an alleged Israeli strike in Syria that left up to 12 Iranian and Hezbollah operatives dead —  had been conveyed to Lebanese government officials via several foreign envoys stationed in Beirut.

Israel has said it will hold Hezbollah responsible for any assault against its citizens or institutions, whether at home or abroad, Al-Hayat said.

There was no official confirmation of the report by the Israeli government.

On Sunday Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon warned that the governments of Syria and Lebanon would pay a price if Israel was attacked.

“We bolstered our forces in order to stay ahead of any…threats,” Ya’alon said in an interview with Army Radio. “There is Iron Dome, and we have advanced other forces, so that if someone decides to carry out a threat, he will also pay a price for it.”

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (R) with Northern Command chief Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi during a visit at the Northern Command on January 23, 2015. (Photo credit: Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defense)
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon (R) with Northern Command chief Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi during a visit at the Northern Command on January 23, 2015. (Photo credit: Ariel Hermoni/Ministry of Defense)

The Israeli army increased its presence in northern Israel on Saturday, fearing a response by Hezbollah or Iran to the strike, which occurred a week ago and left two Hezbollah commanders and an Iranian general dead, among others.

Ya’alon said that Hezbollah and its patron, Iran, were working together to open a front against Israel in the Golan Heights. “They started with rockets and a few mines, and we understood that they wanted to upgrade this to much more meaningful quality attacks, including infiltrating communities in the Golan Heights, anti-tank attacks, sniper fire, etc.”

In the interview, Ya’alon said that the unnamed Israeli official who apologized last week for killing an Iranian general in the strike acted without authorization.

There have been conflicting reports as to whether Israel knew that Iranian general Mohammed Allahdadi was in the convoy.

Iran and Hezbollah have issued a series of threats since the strike, warning of a “crushing response,” and “destructive thunderbolts.” The dead included Allahdadi and senior Hezbollah commanders Muhammad Issa and Jihad Mughniyeh — son of slain terror mastermind Imad Mughniyeh.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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