IDF soldiers stationed in the upper Galillee near the Lebanese border reported hearing shots fired from Lebanon on Thursday. The soldiers returned fire towards the direction from where the shots were heard.
A subsequent IDF assessment concluded that the shots were most likely fired by Lebanese hunters near the frontier. There were no injuries on either side of the border.
The military-defense establishment has been on alert in the north just days after an army patrol vehicle was damaged in an explosion that was set off adjacent to Israel's border with Syria.
An initial investigation into Friday's blast that damaged an IDF vehicle in the northern Golan Heights found that an explosive device was placed on the Syrian side of the fence, and that the attackers were targeting a passing IDF patrol, the army said on Saturday.
The device targeted an IDF patrol as it passed on the Israeli side of the border, damaging the rear window of the vehicle. No soldiers were injured in the incident.
No organization has claimed responsibility.
“We’re looking at all possibilities,” an IDF source told The Jerusalem Post over the weekend.
The IDF has spent months preparing for an escalation of violence along the Syrian frontier, with potential attackers ranging from jihadi rebels to Assad loyalist forces. It is constructing a new barrier on the border with Syria, said to be missile proof and complete with advanced electronic sensors.
In southern Syria near the border with Israel, rebels and the Syrian army have been clashing on a daily basis in recent days, with rebel forces defending a strip of villages under their control from a regime push to retake them. Some of the border regions are under the control of the Syrian Army.
IDF officials report witnessing a basic pattern in which the Syrian Army gathers its forces near a village under rebel control, prompting civilians to flee. A battle then ensues, and civilians return to their homes when it ends.
“There have been no strategic changes here,” the army source said, adding: “This pattern has been repeating itself.”
In October, two soldiers were lightly injured in the area by shrapnel from a Syrian mortar. The Syrian artillery post that fired the projectile was destroyed by the IDF soon after.
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