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Terror alert briefly called along Lebanon border

IDF detects possible breach of fence, but calls off emergency state after confirming it was a false alarm

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Israeli soldiers patrol along the northern Israeli border with Lebanon on July 18, 2014 (photo credit: Ayal Margolin/FLASH90)
Israeli soldiers patrol along the northern Israeli border with Lebanon on July 18, 2014 (photo credit: Ayal Margolin/FLASH90)

A terror alert was called for communities in northern Israel on Wednesday evening over a suspected breach of the border fence with Lebanon, but was called off a short while later after the IDF confirmed that it was a false alarm.

The army had detected suspicious activity near the border, prompting authorities to close nearby roads and instruct local residents to remain indoors due to a possible infiltration by Hezbollah operatives.

However, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said, an extensive sweep of the area found no evidence of a security breech, and security forces gave residents the “all-clear” Wednesday night.

Tensions along the border have increased following a deadly airstrike on Sunday that killed 12 Lebanese Hezbollah operatives and Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps members near Quneitra, Syria.

The dead included an Iranian general and a senior Hezbollah commander, Jihad Mughniyeh, son of slain terror mastermind Imad Mughniyeh.

The Israeli government has not confirmed its involvement in the airstrike on the record, but officials have admitted as much off the record.

An Iranian military official vowed harsh retaliation against Israel for the airstrike on Wednesday, and warned of an impending “crushing response.”

Meanwhile, Israel has bolstered its military presence in the north of the country and deployed Iron Dome anti-missile batteries along the border in anticipation of a retaliatory attack by Hezbollah.

Hours before the infiltration scare on Wednesday, a convoy of civilian vehicles in Lebanon flying Hezbollah flags fired shots in the air near the border, further raising concerns.

IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz canceled an upcoming trip to a NATO conference of military chiefs in Europe due to the heightened tensions.

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