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Artillery units on Mount Dov shelled open areas in Israel near the Lebanese border over the weekend as security forces along the northern border remained on high alert for a fourth day after information was received that Hizbullah may attempt to attack IDF posts or kidnap civilians or soldiers.
The air force also went on high alert, with fighter jets and helicopters conducting border flyovers. Artillery units located on Mount Dov shelled open areas as a deterrence and warning to any attempts by Hizbullah operatives to launch attacks.
"Our sole purpose is to take necessary deterrence measures and not initiate an offensive," a source in the OC Northern Command said.
According to military sources, security assessments of the situation will dictate how long the situation on the ground is expected to prevail. Towards the end of last week, the army beefed up its presence, ordering all nonessential personnel to leave positions close to the Lebanese border.
The end of Ramadan, coupled with the recent escalation in violence in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, spurred security assessments that Hizbullah may attempt to kidnap Israeli civilians to use as bargaining chips to secure the release of Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners incarcerated in Israel, the source added.
IDF troops increased patrols along the security routes running parallel to the border. Farmers working in plots located close to the border were warned to take the necessary precautions, and access was restricted in certain areas deemed dangerous by the army.
Violence continued in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the weekend. On Friday night, the Red Dawn early warning system alerted troops to an incoming Kassam rocket attack in the western Negev. Shortly afterwards, IDF artillery units positioned outside Gaza fired at locations in northern Gaza that were identified as rocket-launching positions. There were no reports of casualties.
Two Palestinians were wounded by IDF gunfire in separate incidents in Kabatiya south of Jenin on Saturday. Firebombs, stones and bombs were thrown at soldiers engaged in on-going military operations in the town against terrorist infrastructure. Soldiers returned fire, aiming at the lower body of the perpetrators, and identified wounding five Palestinians. Their conditions unclear, the Palestinians were taken to the local hospital.
On Saturday afternoon a pipe bomb was detonated near soldiers patrolling the perimeter of the southern Gaza security fence north of the Sufah crossing. No one was wounded and no damage was reported.
In the West Bank over the weekend, shots were fired at an IDF patrol in Kabatiya south of Jenin. No one was wounded in the attack. Since Friday, troops arrested eight Palestinian fugitives in raids in Nablus, Kalil near Nablus, Saide northeast of Tulkarm, Jenin, and Marka and Arabe south of Jenin.
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