Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that an attack on IDF troops in northern Israel last week, for which his group had already claimed responsibility, was carried out in retaliation for an incident in early September, in which an operative was killed while examining what the Islamic group said was an Israeli spy device planted inside Lebanon.
During a meeting with senior Hezbollah figures, Nasrallah said the attack into Israeli territory last week was a “message,” according to Ynet, which cited remarks in an article in Lebanese paper Al-Akhbar on Tuesday.
“Hezbollah is still strong and present, and has not weakened, despite the changes in the region and the media’s coverage of the global coalition…Israel wanted to test Hezbollah, and our response to that was the explosive device in Mount Dov,” Nasrallah said.
On September 5, Hussein Ali Haidar, later claimed as a Hezbollah operative, was killed after “a military intelligence patrol found a suspicious device near the town of Adlun…while preparations were being made to inspect it, the Israeli enemy blew it up remotely, killing a civilian who was in the area,” the Lebanese Army said in a statement. Israel did not officially comment on the incident.
Last Tuesday, Hezbollah claimed the bomb attack against Israeli troops on the ceasefire line between Israel and Lebanon, which wounded two IDF soldiers.
Hezbollah fighters “detonated an explosive device on the Shebaa hills against a motorized Israeli patrol causing a number of injuries among the occupation’s soldiers,” the group said in a statement.
The group said then the attack was carried out by the “martyr Hassan Ali Haidar unit.” Israel confirmed two soldiers were wounded in the blast, and an army spokeswoman said the attack took place “on the Israeli side of the border.”
The ceasefire line between the two countries is often tense, but the incident was the first time Hezbollah has carried out an attack against Israeli forces in the area since a March blast that the Jewish state said caused no casualties.
Israel fought a bloody war against Hezbollah in 2006, which killed more than 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and some 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.
The Blue Line between the countries was drawn up by the UN in 2000, after Israeli troops withdrew, ending a 22-year occupation of south Lebanon.
AFP contributed to this report.