While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was meeting with defense officials on Sunday, including regarding the security situation in the North, Hezbollah operatives were recording themselves violating the border and waving the terrorist organization’s flag.
Videos posted to social media showed several Hezbollah operatives crossing a UNIFIL boundary that signifies the border between the northern part of Ghajar, considered part of Lebanon, and the southern part of the village, considered part of Israel. In the video, they can be seen waving flags and jumping up and down. Hezbollah confirmed that “a group of youths” marched through the area to protest Israel’s holding onto southern Ghajar.
Israeli media claimed that #Hezbollah members cut the fence erected by UNIFIL in 2006 near the Lebanese occupied village of Ghajar and crossed into the area.Correct news is this was done by Lebanese civilians. But for us..wither way..this is our land..so cry us a river Zios. pic.twitter.com/yBQgVIeMuu— Marwa Osman || مروة عثمان (@Marwa__Osman) July 30, 2023
Ghajar was split by the UN in May 2000, when Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon. In recent months, Hezbollah has increased a variety of activities challenging Israeli sovereignty in a dozen minor border disputes. Netanyahu’s meeting included IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi, Mossad Director David Barnea, Shin Bet Director Ronen Bar, Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, National Security Council Chief Tzachi Hanegbi, IDF intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Aharon Haliva, and other senior officials.
Over the weekend, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah made his second threatening speech in the last few weeks. The looming question is whether Jerusalem will decide to use force to remove a small Hezbollah outpost in the Mount Dov area.
Challenging Israel's authority
Israel says that the Hezbollah outpost of under 10 operatives, set up months ago but only exposed by the media a month or so after it was established, is a few meters into Israeli territory and so does not pose any danger.
As such, the IDF and the government decided to go the diplomatic route for the past several months to persuade Hezbollah to withdraw, though the terrorist group has made it clear it will not do so.
On Saturday morning, Nasrallah said the entire Middle East will not rest until the “cancerous gland” that is Israel is removed. He further warned that Palestinians today “believe more than ever in the resistance.” He also reaffirmed that Hezbollah “stands by the Palestinians.”
Netanyahu told his government on Sunday that, "regarding Nasrallah's threats from his bunker, we are not impressed. At the crucial moment, he will find us standing together, shoulder to shoulder. Even Nasrallah knows that it is worth neither his while nor Lebanon's, to put us to the test."
Earlier this month, IDF soldiers used warning shots and crowd dispersal measures to disperse at least 20 Lebanese citizens who crossed about 80 meters into Israeli territory in the isolated Mount Dov region. Prior to that, the IDF struck sites in Lebanon after an anti-tank missile was fired from Lebanon toward Ghajar.