IDF confirms security incident near Kibbutz Menara in Upper Galilee
The Israeli military launched dozens of flares along the border with Lebanon on Monday night, followed by airstrikes on terrorist targets, amid following the shooting of an IDF position near Kibbutz Menara in the Upper Galilee.
According to Lebanon’s state news agency, initial reports indicated that an infiltration had occurred along the border. However, it was later reported that no such infiltration took place, according to The Jerusalem Post‘s sister publication, Maariv.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit later added that following the gunfire, which did not result in any casualties, the troops launched illuminating flares along the border, and then launched airstrikes on Hezbollah targets in the area.
“The IDF considers the Lebanese government responsible for what happens to its territory,” the IDF said in a statement, adding that it “views the incident very seriously. Any attempt to violate the sovereignty of the State of Israel is a serious event.”
Earlier in the evening, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit confirmed that a security incident took place near the kibbutz, and that roads in the areas of Malkia, Ramot Naftali and Margaliot had been blocked.
Residents of the communities of Menara, Margaliot, Malkiya, Misgav Am and Yiftach were ordered by the military to stay in their homes and lock their doors.
All outdoor activities were prohibited, including agricultural work, and if a warning is given, residents were instructed to enter their bomb shelters immediately for the next 10 minutes.
However, this order was soon lifted, and all of them were allowed to go back to normal.
Troops were reported to be searching the area after suspicious movements were detected near the border in the area of the Ramim Ridge. According to Al-Arabiya, troops located a hole in the fence near Menara.
Israel’s KAN news reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Safed on a family vacation at the time of the incident and was rushed to the IDF’s Northern Command Headquarters in the city, where, according to Maariv, he continued to receive security updates.
Israel has been bracing for a possible attack by the terrorist group after an alleged Israeli airstrike in Syria on July 20 killed one of its members.
Hezbollah said at the time that a response to the deadly strike was “inevitable,” leading Israel to deploy troop reinforcements along with advanced intelligence and precision fire systems to its northern borders and ban military vehicles from driving on roads adjacent to the borders.
A week later, a group of up to five armed Hezbollah terrorists attempted to infiltrate into Israel, crossing several meters into Israeli territory on Mount Dov, which led IDF troops to fire artillery shells towards the cell, forcing them back into Lebanon without them firing at IDF troops.
Nevertheless, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said at the time that the July incident was not his group’s response and a week after that, IDF troops foiled an attempt to place explosive devices along the border fence, several dozens of kilometers away on the border with Syria. The four-member cell was killed by an IDF force on the ground and by aircraft.
But as tensions along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon subsided in mid-August, the IDF began to scale back troop reinforcements and other heightened security measures that had been put in place there.
While the IDF and defense officials determined that the Lebanese terror group would not carry out an attack following the devastating explosion in Beirut, the remaining troops in the area have nevertheless been ordered to remain in a heightened state of readiness.
Tzvi Joffre contributed to this report.