Bomb Set Off Near IDF Patrol on Lebanese Border

Smoke rises from shells fired from Israel over Al Wazzani area in southern Lebanon, January 4, 2016. Lebanese media said Israeli shells hit the town of Al Wazzani near the border in southern Lebanon on Monday, with initial reports of injuries and damage. REUTERS/Karamallah Daher
Smoke rises from shells fired from Israel over Al Wazzani area in southern Lebanon, Monday. (Reuters/Karamallah Daher)

IDF forces on Har Dov reported Monday afternoon that an explosive device blew up near where soldiers were operating in the area. No one was injured. Soldiers returned fire to the other side of the Lebanese border.

Soldiers said that it was possible that an anti-tank missile was fired at them as well. This is being investigated too. Residents of northern Israel said they had heard a number of explosions in the area.

Mount Dov is the northernmost point in Israel, adjacent to the Lebanese border. Hizbullah took responsibility for the attack shortly after it was carried out. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said several times that Israel holds Hizbullah responsible for any attacks from southern Lebanon.

Lebanese media said that Israeli shells hit the town of Al Wazzani near the border in southern Lebanon, with initial reports of injuries and damage.

Hizbullah’s Al Manar reported that an explosive device targeting Israeli forces near Al Wazzani had detonated, but did not elaborate.

Analysts said that the Hizbullah activity could be connected to the recent reported elimination by the IDF of Samir al-Kuntar, a notorious Lebanese terrorist who was behind one of the worst terror attacks in Israeli history. Speaking after the death of Kuntar in late December, MK Eyal Ben Reuven (Zionist Camp), who was IDF Deputy Commander of Northern Forces at the time of the terror attack, said that “Kuntar was a disgusting killer who murdered the Haran family in cold blood, and after he was released by Israel went back to full activity as a terrorist. If true, the IDF deserves much praise for its actions.”

“Based on its past experience with Hizbullah, the IDF is undoubtedly preparing for a response by the terror group. If such a response does take place, Israel will need to act with discretion in order not to set off the entire region,” he added.

Kuntar was killed in an Israeli airstrike on Damascus, reports said. Kuntar, a top Hizbullah terrorist, infiltrated Israel by boat in April 1979, and kidnapped and murdered five Israelis, including a young father, Danny Haran, and his 4-year-old daughter, Einat. Hizbullah on Sunday officially blamed Israel for Kuntar’s death, vowing revenge. According to Lebanese media, Kuntar was killed in an attack on a building that was hit by four missiles.

The details of the murders, particularly of that of Einat, were for years deemed to be too brutal to be discussed in the Israeli media. Kuntar was captured and tried, and sentenced to prison for life. He was released in 2008, however, in the deal to release the bodies of IDF soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, and was given a royal welcome in Lebanon and Syria. Since then, Kuntar had returned to active duty in Hizbullah, and was said to be commander of Hizbullah forces on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights border.