Hezbollah on Sunday made good on their threats of revenge for alleged recent Israeli drone attacks, launching multiple anti-tank missiles at Israeli targets—including an ambulance. However, the IDF Twitter feed reported that no Israelis were injured by the attack, which also hit an IDF outpost. The post said the Israelis responded by firing back at the Hezbollah group responsible for the attack.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summed it up by stating in comments released by his office, “We were attacked with several anti-tank missiles. We responded with 100 shells and firing from the air by various means… At this time I have an important announcement: We have no casualties—not even a scratch.”
Netanyahu made it clear that the situation was fluid and more conflict could be coming. “We are consulting about the next steps. I have ordered that we be prepared for any scenario,” said Netanyahu. “We will decide on the next steps pending developments.”
IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus made sure to highlight who attacked whom first. In a Twitter post, he noted, “Chronology matters. First Hezbollah fired missiles at Israel, then we responded. Hezbollah just admitted they attacked Israel from Lebanon because we foiled a Quds Force attack a week ago from Syria,” referencing a failed Iranian drone attack. Conricus’ post later also alluded to how Hezbollah’s actions blatantly violate United Nations Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon war over a decade ago.
The latest escalation from Hezbollah comes roughly a week after Israel launched a pre-emptive strike on an Iranian drone operation in Syria that had plans to attack Israel. According to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, per the Al Manar media group, two Hezbollah members were killed in the Israeli action. In addition, Nasrallah accused Israel of launching two drones into Lebanon and The Times in London reported that drone attack destroyed machinery used for fuel for precision-guided missiles. Nasrallaah had vowed to respond, according to an Al Manar report.
An Al Manar report on Sunday claimed the Hezbollah attack targeted an Israeli military vehicle, supposedly in spite of Israeli precautions during these tense days.
Meanwhile, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin released a statement after the Hezbollah attack warning that Israel responds when attacked.
“All those who seek to harm us should know that we are ready and willing to defend Israel’s citizens wherever they are, without hesitation,” Rivlin was quoted by an Israeli press release as saying.
“We also say to them that we are prepared and do not want to show just how well-prepared we are. You should know that the border can only be quiet if it is on both of its sides.”
The United States backed Israel’s actions on Sunday. Jason Greenblatt, Middle East envoy and advisor to President Donald Trump, posted on Twitter, “Missiles fired from Lebanon into Israel. Iran has proxies in Lebanon & Gaza that harm Israel, undermine chances for peace & threaten a better future for Palestinians. The US stands w/ Israel & fully supports its right to defend itself against all attacks.”
The latest flare-up highlights the general danger Hezbollah is placing not only on Lebanon and Israel, but the entire region. Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon last week on Twitter said the new mandate for UN peacekeepers along the Israel-Lebanon border “sends a clear message to the Lebanese government: restrain Hezbollah. The Iranian proxy’s grip on southern Lebanon is only intended to harm the State of Israel and will endanger the entire region. Israel will not accept such a reality.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, September 1, 2019)