Tensions in North Rise Amid Syrian Rocket Fire, Attempted Infiltration

YERUSHALAYIM -
Israeli soldiers seen on the border between Israel and Lebanon. (Basel Awidat/Flash90, File)

The IDF said that it prevented an attempted infiltration along the Israel-Lebanon border in the late hours of Friday night.

According to the IDF, military lookouts identified several suspects cutting the border fence and digging beneath it. Troops deployed to the area opened fire at the suspects, who fled back to Lebanese territory.

The IDF said that a search of the area revealed items suspected as explosives. An IDF official later said that the evidence at the scene pointed to a plot to infiltrate into Israel and carry out an attack in the Metula area.

According to media reports, three suspects breached the fence and crossed into Israel. They were then joined by four others and started a fire in Israeli territory, presumably as a distraction.

Security forces engaged and opened fire. At least one suspect was shot in the leg before he and the others fled back to Lebanon.

The residents of the Metula area were ordered to stay indoors while the incident was taking place.

Earlier on Friday evening, three rockets fired from the Syrian Golan landed in the sea off the coast of northern Israel.

The IDF stressed that its radar system identified that the projectiles were headed toward an unpopulated area so no sirens were triggered nor was there a need to engage air defenses.

An official with Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese terrorist group, was quick to tell Lebanese media that these were not Hezbollah rockets.

Al-Jazeera cited a Lebanese security services spokesman as saying that the rockets were fired from a Palestinian refugee camp in southern Lebanon.

“The source of the rockets fired at Israel is unclear, and the investigation continues. The rockets that were fired towards northern Israel came from the vicinity of the Rashidiya, in Tyre,” the Qatari outlet reported.

Later on Friday, a little-known Syrian-based Palestinian group by the name of Tahir Brigades claimed responsibility for the rocket fire.

Lebanese media said President Michel Aoun ordered Beirut’s Foreign Ministry to notify the U.N. of the incident, while Prime Minister Saad Hariri said the incident was a violation of the 2006 ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah.