Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu insisted that Israel has the right to protect its citizens, when queried Tuesday at a press conference about an alleged Israeli air strike on the Syrian-Lebanese border the night before.
“Our policy is clear – we will not speak about reports of what we did or didn’t do – but we do all that is necessary in order to defend our citizens,” Netanyahu said.
Hezbollah denied the air strike on their television network al-Manar. They said there had been “no raid on Lebanese territory,” reporting only the “strong presence of enemy planes over the area north of Bekaa” in eastern Lebanon.
Some Lebanese reports suggested the attack was carried out against a Hezbollah missile base, while others stated that the target of the bombing sortie was a key stop on the route through which arms are smuggled between Lebanon and Syria.
According to Reuters, security sources said Israeli warplanes struck a target in eastern Lebanon. It was not immediately known what the target was or the exact location of the air strike, which was in a mountainous area near the border.
The IDF declined to comment, but an Israeli security source confirmed that there had been “unusually intense air force activity in the north,” referring to Lebanon.
The eastern Lebanon border area is frequently used by smugglers. Israeli planes have struck in the area several times in the last two years, and security sources say the targets may have been trucks of weapons destined for Lebanon’s Hezbollah group from Syria.
Reuters contributed to this report.