IDF enters enclaves to push back Hizbullah

IDF is making it difficult for terror group to launch attacks along the border like in 2006.

August 4, 2010 02:06
2 minute read.
This map reflects the exact location of the incident, just north of the Israeli town of Misgav-Am in

Lebanon Israel border map. (photo credit: Courtesy)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

One of the first lessons the IDF learned from its failed war against Hizbullah in 2006 was the need to operate within all of the so-called “enclaves” along the Lebanese border.

Enclaves refer to land that is in sovereign Israeli territory but is on the other side of the border fence, which does not always run directly parallel to the internationally recognized border known as the Blue Line.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

IDF commander killed on Lebanon border
Photo gallery: Unrest on the Israel-Lebanon border

On Tuesday, an IDF entrance into one of these enclaves, near the Israeli community of Misgav Am, was what likely triggered the clashes that ended with one dead IDF senior officer and three dead Lebanese soldiers.

This, however, does not mean that Israel is wrong in entering the enclaves, some of which are hundreds of meters south of the actual border. The IDF’s Northern Command is of the opinion that it is crucial to operate within the enclaves to show the Lebanese that Israel is present in all of its territory, a so-called declaration of sovereignty.

There are also security benefits to operating within the enclaves. On July 12, 2006, Hizbullah guerrillas launched an attack against an IDF patrol from within one of these enclaves and abducted reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, in the incident that sparked the Second Lebanon War.

Since the war, the IDF has entered these enclaves almost every day. In some cases it coordinates with UNIFIL to prevent misunderstandings like that which happened on Tuesday – if in fact the Lebanese Armed Forces’ attack was the result of a misunderstanding, and was not premeditated as some IDF sources have speculated. In these cases, it even crosses the fence with tanks and jeeps.

Other times, though, the IDF enters the enclaves covertly and often remains inside for full days.

“If we are not there, Hizbullah will be there,” a top officer stationed along the Lebanese border said recently, explaining that by operating within the enclaves, the IDF was making it difficult for Hizbullah to launch attacks along the border like it did in 2006.

“This way, Hizbullah will have to start its next attack further from the border, meaning that we will hopefully have more of a warning that something is happening,” he said.

The Northern Command is also working with UNIFIL to complete the marking of the Israeli-Lebanese border. This is done with blue-and-white barrels that are placed every few hundred meters and form a clear line of where the border runs, in the absence of a fence along the Blue Line.

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town