Hezbollah terrorists on Wednesday fired five anti-tank missiles at an Israeli patrol guarding the Israeli side of the border, killing two Israeli soldiers and injuring seven others according to the IDF Blog. In addition, mortars were launched at an Israeli military position in Mount Hermon in one of the strongest Hezbollah attacks on Israel in more than eight years.
Israel responded by striking Hezbollah “operational positions” and made it clear that Hezbollah would be held responsible. “Whoever is behind today’s attack will pay the full price,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in comments released by his office. “For some time, Iran—via Hezbollah—has been trying to establish an additional terrorist front against us from the Golan Heights [Israel’s northern border with Syria and Lebanon].” Hezbollah also claimed credit and even suggested their actions were permitted by the Lebanese governmental policy.
In a statement mentioned in a report by The Daily Star, the Lebanese terrorist group said that their actions were in the spirit of the Lebanese government’s policy statement that “Lebanese people have the right to resist Israeli occupation.”
The area in Israel where the patrol was hit is also claimed by Lebanon, which the Lebanese Foreign Ministry actually highlighted in a statement of their own that was published by Hezbollah’s Al-Manar news website. Al-Manar, citing the Lebanese governmental statement, tried to argue that the attack did not violate the ceasefire with Israel reached after the 2006 war.
The Daily Star reported that Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam claimed his country was committed to the ceasefire and urged the world to restrain Israel from responding to the attack.
US spokesperson Jen Psaki, meanwhile, emphasized that Israel had the right to defend itself and strongly condemned the Hezbollah attack in a statement from the State Department
. Calling the assault a “blatant violation of the cease fire,” Psaki said they “support Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense and continue to urge all parties to respect the Blue Line between Israel and Lebanon. We urge all parties to refrain from any action that could escalate the situation.”
Netanyahu made it clear his country would continue to protect itself from aggression.
“We are taking strong and responsible action against this attempt,” said Netanyahu. “The Lebanese government and the [Syrian] Assad regime share responsibility for the consequences of the attacks emanating from their territories against the State of Israel. In all of these events, our mission is to defend the State of Israel. Our only consideration is the security of the State of Israel and its citizens. Thus we have acted and thus we will continue to act.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, January 28, 2015)