IDF tanks are seen along the Golan Heights border with Syria.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The IDF on Thursday denied reports that army vehicles crossed into Lebanese territory, after Hezbollah-affiliated media published a video purporting to show IDF vehicles crossing the Israeli-Lebanon border.
The video, which was uploaded to YouTube by Lebanese Central Military Media stated that Israeli D9 bulldozers and Merkava tanks crossed the border fence between the two countries near the southern Lebanese town of Meiss el Jabal. Troops were also filmed along the border.
According to the army, troops had stayed south of the so-called Blue Line between the two countries and had informed the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) of the work ahead of time.
The border with Lebanon requires an ever-alert military presence in the area. Earlier in the month, Israel's Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) released its annual report stating that according to the think tank’s threat rankings, and due to the significant strengthening of Hezbollah, the group surpassed Iran as the greatest danger to Israel
Speaking at the Jerusalem Post Diplomatic Conference in late November, Brig.-Gen. Ram Yavne, Head of the IDF Strategic Division, said that almost every Shiite village or neighborhood in southern Lebanon is being used by Hezbollah fighters.
One civilian village pointed out by Yavne, Chakra, which has 4,000 Shiite inhabitants, “reflects the situation every neighborhood, town, or village of Shiite in Lebanon. In that village, one-third of the homes includes military assets of Hezbollah.”
Several weapons warehouses, rocket launching sites, anti-tank positions, underground infrastructures and a command post in Chakra were identified on the map.