Hezbollah brings arson terror to the northern front

Terrorists in the Gaza Strip have conducted thousands of arson attacks against Israel in recent years.

August 19, 2019 12:28
2 minute read.
A firefighter attempts to extinguish a fire burning scrubland

A firefighter attempts to extinguish a fire burning scrubland in an area where Palestinians have been causing blazes by flying kites and balloons loaded with flammable materials, on the Israeli side of the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, near kibbutz Nir Am, June 5, 2018. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

Following in the footsteps of terrorists in Gaza, terrorists from the Hezbollah terrorist movement lit fires along the Israeli-Lebanese border on Friday which quickly spread into Israeli territory, according to Channel 12 news.

The fire, exacerbated by strong winds, threatened an IDF post and the border town of Margaliot. The current evaluation, as reported by Channel 12,  is that this was an intentional action by Hezbollah which may be carried out again in the future.
Video obtained by Channel 12, shows the Hezbollah terrorists arriving to an area very close to the border fence and igniting multiple fires in the area. The fire caused a large amount of mines in the area to explode.

UN vehicles in the area made no effort to stop the terrorists or to put out the fires. No injuries have been announced.



As the fire quickly advanced on Israeli territory, roads were closed and firefighters prepared to evacuate Margaliot. 

"We received a message that a fire was advancing on the town of Margaliot that began on the Lebanese side of the border," said Roi Finnish, deputy shift commander of the Israel Fire and Rescue Service Galilee-Golan station. "Our teams that arrived at the scene conducted operations to protect the town. Additionally, police blocked roads at the scene to prevent vehicles from passing through."

It took hours to put out the flames and no firefighting aircraft could be used due to the site's close proximity to the border. According to Channel 12, this probably won't be a one-time incident.

"Everyone knows that the Lebanese side conducts these provocations and this fire is surely caused by them and not be chance," said Yoram Mahlof, CEO of the Mevo'ot Ha'Hermon regional council. This is not some innocent shepherd. They study us. They want to learn and we are prepared and ready. We know exactly what they want."

Hezbollah may use the arson tactic to obtain a few different goals. The fires may serve to step up harrassment of the IDF and security forces or to pose a direct threat to their posts along the border. The terrorist organization may also use the fires to expose areas which could potentially be used by IDF special forces to camouflage cover for cross-border activity.

Terrorists in the Gaza Strip have conducted thousands of arson attacks against Israel in recent years.

Terrorists in Gaza have used balloons and kites to fly incendiary and explosive devices over the border into southern Israel since the launch of "March of Return" protests along the border fence. The incendiary devices have caused more than 2,000 separate fires, resulting in more than 35,000 dunams burned.

Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report.

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