IDF troops on Lebanon border [file].
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The State Department has urged all of its employees to avoid travel to areas adjacent to Israel’s border with Lebanon due to the possibility of Hezbollah reprisals.
An official US government communique instructs its personnel to “obtain advance approval if they wish to travel within 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) of the Lebanon border, or travel on or east of Route 98 in the Golan Heights.”
The American government has also barred its employees from riding the bus in light of Wednesday's stabbing attack in Tel Aviv.
The IDF identified suspicious activity on the Lebanese side of the northern border fence on Wednesday evening, leading to road closures and local communities being put on alert.
The alert is the result of the defense establishment being ultra-sensitive since an air strike on Sunday that killed 12 Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps senior operatives near Quneitra, Syria, and Iranian vows to take revenge.
There has been no attempt by terrorists to cross the border, as far as the IDF was aware on Wednesday, and no engagement with hostile forces. The IDF operates a multitude of border sensors and field intelligence collection units across the Lebanese and Syrian borders, and these often produce security alerts that are investigated.
Meanwhile, as part of steps designed to boost readiness, the IDF has increased its presence in the North, in the form of artillery, infantry and armored units. The Israel Air Force has also gone on alert to decrease response times to incidents. Northern Command officers have held meetings with local government representatives, telling them to expect an increase in military traffic on the ground and air force traffic overhead.