There were two separate attempts on Wednesday to damage the border fence between Israel and Lebanon, from the Lebanese side, with the more serious of the two, involving explosives, confirmed as coming from Hezbollah. The IDF prevented both.
Unlike the Mount Dov “no-man’s land” area, the area where the fence was being attacked on Wednesday is clearly delineated by the UN-approved Blue Line as being within Israeli territory.
The two incidents came on the 17th anniversary of the Second Lebanon War and as Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah was about to give a high-profile speech.
In the more serious incident close to 1 p.m., about four Hezbollah suspects approached the security fence and attempted to sabotage it with explosives. They set off the explosives, which also reportedly wounded some of them, but failed to break through the fence.
Israeli soldiers immediately spotted the suspects and used nonlethal means to get them away from the fence.
A few hours later, in a separate and less serious incident, unidentified Lebanese suspects used fireworks and other means to try to engage or disrupt IDF forces. The IDF succeeded in removing them as well.
Though the group from the second incident was not identified, Hezbollah controls most of southern Lebanon.
Second incident presents less of a security challenge
The IDF considered the second incident less serious because the fireworks and other items they used blew back into Lebanese territory, so any damage sustained was not on Israel’s side. It also did not present as much of a security challenge, the IDF said.
There was no expectation of an escalation with Hezbollah into what could be a larger flare-up, sources said, despite recent clashes and an ongoing dispute with Hezbollah over an illegal outpost it set up a few meters within the isolated and unfenced Mount Dov area.
The IDF said it would continue to prevent any attempt to violate Israeli sovereignty and damage to the security fence.