IDF conducting searches after two suspects infiltrate from Lebanon

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IDF soldiers have been conducting searches in the area in efforts to arrest the two suspects and a number of roads have been blocked.

-By TZVI JOFFRE, ANNA AHRONHEIM

IDF along the northern border between Israel and Lebanon.(photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)

IDF soldiers are conducting searches in northern Israel after two suspects were spotted crossing the border from Lebanon into Israel on Thursday morning, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

IDF soldiers have been working to isolate the area in efforts to arrest the two suspects and a number of roads have been blocked. Residents of nearby towns were at first instructed to remain in their homes, but have since been instructed to return to routine, although searches are ongoing.

In June, two suspects believed to be job seekers from Lebanon managed to hide from IDF soldiers for over 12 hours after they infiltrated through the border fence. The two suspects were arrested near the border fence in an overgrown area where they hid. The infiltration in June was not suspected to be terror-related.

The infiltration on Thursday comes just two days after two rockets were fired from Lebanon into northern Israel early in the morning, setting off rocket sirens in northern Israel. No injuries or damage were reported.

In response to the rocket fire, the IDF fired tank shells toward Hamoul Valley from where the rockets had been fired on Tuesday morning.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kohavi warned after the rocket fire that Israel “will respond in an overt or covert way, or both together, to all violations of our sovereignty from Lebanon – whoever it is.”

In May, during Operation Guardian of the Walls, a dozen rockets were fired into Israel from the same area in Lebanon. The IDF responded with artillery fire after those rocket attacks as well.

It is still unclear who fired the rockets early on Tuesday morning, but the IDF believes it was the same Palestinian militants who fired the rockets in May. Hezbollah is not believed to be behind the rocket fire.

As Lebanon continues to suffer from a worsening economic crisis, the IDF has expressed concerns there may be an increase of drug smuggling and infiltrations of migrant workers or refugees along the northern border.

 

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