IDF limiting traffic along Lebanon border in response to rising tensions

No special instructions given to residents in the North.

August 27, 2019 13:37
2 minute read.
A woman walks her dog as an Israeli soldier guards near the border with Lebanon

A woman walks her dog as an Israeli soldier guards near the border with Lebanon, the morning after the Israeli military said it had launched an operation to "expose and thwart" cross-border attack tunnels from Lebanon, in Israel's northernmost town Metula December 5, 2018. (photo credit: REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun)

The IDF began limiting traffic on roads along the Lebanese border over fears of retaliation by Hezbollah as tensions remain high following alleged Israeli attacks.

“In light of an operational status assessment, it was decided that the movement of certain military vehicles on several roads would be possible only on the basis of individual approval and in accordance with the situational assessment of the situation,” the IDF said in a statement given to The Jerusalem Post.

The order was given by the military to all units in the area on Tuesday morning, restricting travel between 0-5 kilometers from the border and ordering all troops to carry weapons and wear protective equipment should their request to drive on the border roads be approved.

The army’s Northern Command has been on high alert since Saturday night after the Israeli Air Force carried out strikes against a cell belonging to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force in Syria which planned to launch armed drones to attack targets in northern Israel.

Nevertheless, “the home front is in a state of routine, and we are working to preserve that,” said the commander of the IDF’s Bashan Division in the Northern Command Brig.-Gen. Amit Fisher, adding that “the IDF has increased its level of preparedness, both in terms of defense and attack.”

The military has placed Iron Dome missile defense system in the north, changed the deployment of troops and placed all bases on high alert. No new safety instructions have been given to residents of the north and bomb shelters have not been opened.

On Monday night IDF troops fired several flares over the Mount Dov and the contested Shaba Farms area after reports of suspicious individuals seen at the border. According to Hezbollah’s al-Manar news website the flares sparked a fire in the al-Bayader area south of Sheeba.

Lebanon’s National News Agency said the flares were fired over Tallet Seddaneh, Birkat al-Naqqar and al-Bayader in the outskirts of the town of Shebaa after several blasts were heard.

Similar to past confrontations with the Shiite Lebanese terror group, it’s believed that Hezbollah will target military sites in Israel’s Galilee in retaliation and not towards civilians in order to limit the chance of an all-out war between the two sides.

Since the end of the 2006 Second Lebanon War, hostilities between the two foes have been limited to occasional firing across the border.

In 2015, two IDF soldiers were killed and seven wounded after Hezbollah fired anti-tank missiles towards an unarmored military vehicle in the Mount Dov area near the Lebanese border. The five Kornet anti-tank missiles were fired by the Lebanese Shi’ite terror group in retaliation to an airstrike in Syria which killed seven Hezbollah operatives a week earlier.

Israel has been warning Lebanon for months that it will hold it responsible for Hezbollah attacks from Lebanese territory, and it will target its infrastructure if Hezbollah launches rockets from Lebanon. The prime minister alluded to this in comments he made on a tour to the north on Sunday.

Israel, he said, would not “tolerate aggression against Israel from any country in the region. Any country that allows its territory to be used for aggression against Israel will face the consequences, and I repeat: the country will face the consequences.”

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