Hezbollah Attacks IDF Convoy Near Lebanon Border, Prompting Israeli Retaliation

The Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah detonated an explosive device near an IDF bulldozer and another vehicle beside the Israel-Lebanon border on Monday afternoon, The Times of Israel reported.

The attack, which took place near Shebaa Farms, also known as Har Dov, prompted Israel to fire approximately 20 artillery shells into southern Lebanon. No casualties were initially reported during either incident, although Hezbollah maintained that it injured Israeli soldiers. The IDF denied this claim, and said that the targeted vehicles were in the area to clear pathways of explosives and other obstacles.

The Hezbollah cell that took credit for the bombing named itself after Samir Kuntar, the Hezbollah commander who was killed along with eight other terrorists in a targeted airstrike two weeks ago in Damascus. While Israel did not claim responsibility for the operation, former Israeli national security advisor Gen. Yaacov Amidror explained shortly afterwards that Kuntar was preparing forces in the Syrian side of the Golan Heights to orchestrate attacks against Israel before his death, and therefore posed an immediate threat. Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, vowed to retaliate for Kuntar’s assassination, saying, “We cannot forgive the shedding of our mujahideen blood by the Zionists.”

Kuntar was released from an Israeli jail in 2008 in exchange for the bodies of Israeli soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. He was imprisoned in 1979 after leading a group of terrorists that killed a policeman and then abducted and killed Danny Haran and his 4-year-old daughter, Einat, on a beach near their home in northern Israel. He shot Danny in front of Einat, and then killed her by smashing her head against a rock. Einat’s mother, hiding in a crawlspace, accidentally smothered her 2-year-old daughter Yael to death in an attempt to keep her quiet so as to avoid giving away their hiding place.

According to the Times, Israel has been firing artillery rounds at the Lebanese border fence over the past several days to deter expected attacks from Hezbollah.

In January 2014, an airstrike killed a number high-ranking Hezbollah and Iranian military officials, including Jihad Mughniyeh, who is believed to have been Kuntar’s predecessor in opening a Syrian front against Israel for Hezbollah. Later that month, two Israeli soldiers were killed by Hezbollah in a cross-border rocket attack.

[Photo:  Basel AWidat / FLASH90 ]