Hezbollah: Israel Covering Up Injuries, Deaths in Avivim Attack

Smoke rises from shells fired from Israel in Maroun Al-Ras village, near the border with Israel, in southern Lebanon, Sunday. (Reuters/Aziz Taher)

An IDF soldier who was injured when a rock struck him in the head was actually injured in the Hezollah rocket strike on an IDF base in northern Israel, a Lebanese media outlet associated with Hezbollah said Thursday. “After they denied that there were injuries in the Hezbollah attack on the Avivim army base, Israel reported that four soldiers were injured from rock attacks,” the Al Manar satellite channel said. Those four soldiers were really injured in the rocket strike.

The report is apparently Hezbollah’s response to the IDF “trick” that perhaps more than anything restored calm to the northern border after the rocket strike. As Israel was responding to the attack by hitting Hezbollah positions in Lebanon, four IDF soldiers were loaded on a helicopter, headed to Rambam Hospital in Haifa. The soldiers were “bloodied” – with fake blood – and given splints by first aid personnel on the ground, to give the impression that they were injured.

They were not, but Hezbollah thought they were, and media reports in outlets controlled by the terror group celebrated the “serious injuries” the terror group had inflicted on the IDF, with some reports claiming the soldiers had died. The IDF, meanwhile, maintained silence, announcing only hours later that there had actually been no Israeli injuries. The aim of the “skit,” the report said, was to allow Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah to claim a “victory,” after threatening to strike back against Israel after IDF attacks on Hezbollah and Iranian assets in Lebanon in recent weeks, officials quoted in media reports said.

But the soldiers were injured, if not killed, Al Manar insisted. “The Zionist enemy’s media said that three soldiers were injured in rock attacks in the Shuafat refugee camp” in Yerushalayim, and the fourth soldier was the one who was reportedly hit by a rock in the head at a base in northern Israel.

The problem with that story is that the soldier injured in the head has come to, and has been giving IDF officials details on the incident. The soldier, who was named as Daniel Marder, said that some 12 hours passed between the time he was hit in the head by the rock and when he was released to the hospital. In interviews Wednesday, family members said that commanders had ignored Marder’s complaints that his head hurt, and it was only when he passed out later in the day that he was given the appropriate care. IDF officials said they were investigating the claims.

Officials suspected that the rock throwing was part of a “game” by soldiers, and that was confirmed by a soldier who was interviewed by investigators, Channel 12 reported. The rock hit Marder in the head as he was inside an aluminum shed on the base. According to the soldier, whose rock apparently was the one that hit Marder in the head, the practice of throwing rocks at the shed was a common one, “to alleviate boredom,” he told investigators – and he was not aware that Marder was inside the shed at the time.

Doctors at Ziv Medical Center in Tzefas said that Marder was improving, and was likely to be released in the coming days.

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