BEIRUT – Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah claimed responsibility on Wednesday for explosions that wounded four Israeli soldiers who allegedly infiltrated southern Lebanon last week.
Nasrallah told Beirut-based Al- Mayadeen television that Hezbollah fighters planted bombs in an area they knew in advance Israeli soldiers would pass through, and detonated one of them when a first group of special forces reached the area.
A second bomb was triggered when Israeli reinforcements arrived, Nasrallah said, giving the group’s first account of an incident about which Israeli military officials have given few details.
On Tuesday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said the incident was isolated and that he did not view it as an escalation.
Hezbollah is well armed but deterred, and the IDF would ensure it remained deterred, he added.
The Lebanese army said last week the Israeli soldiers had crossed 400 meters into Lebanese territory when the blasts occurred.
An Israeli spokesman said only that four soldiers were wounded during “an activity near the border.”
“This was a controlled and deliberate operation,” Nasrallah said of the explosions.
“It was not accidental, and was not [caused by] a land mine left behind by the Israeli occupation.”
Nasrallah did not say how the Hezbollah fighters knew in advance of the alleged Israeli incursion, but said the group “will not accept these territorial violations” into Lebanon.
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Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.