July 12, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Repels Hezbollah Sabotage of Lebanese Border Fence

July 12, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Repels Hezbollah Sabotage of Lebanese Border Fence

Latest Developments

Hezbollah operatives tried to sabotage the fence on Lebanon’s border with Israel at two points on July 12 but were dispersed by non-lethal Israeli military responses. The incidents — the latest in a recent string of provocations by the Iran-backed terrorist group — coincided with the anniversary of the outbreak of the 2006 Second Lebanon War between Israel and Hezbollah. The group’s chief, Hassan Nasrallah, was due to deliver a speech later in the day.

In the first incident, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) surveillance video showed a group of men tampering with the border fence and then being scattered by an explosion. The IDF said it had activated a non-lethal device against them. According to one source, the device was a landmine-like version of a stun grenade. Lebanese reports said three Hezbollah members were injured.

In the second incident, men believed to be Hezbollah members ignited a fire near the border fence, apparently hoping it would spread to Israeli territory. Israeli troops fired warning shots to disperse them.

Expert Analysis

“The belligerence by Iran region-wide is also being exhibited by Hezbollah on the Lebanon-Israel border. We saw in 2006 how the terrorist group used vulnerabilities exposed during its previous probes of the border to blindside Israel with a lethal raid on one of its patrols. We also saw what resulted: a war that cost Lebanon dearly. Now is the time for UNIFIL and world powers that have clout in Beirut — namely the United States, France, and Saudi Arabia — to step in and prevent another catastrophic miscalculation.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“This is a crisis manufactured by the Iran-backed Hezbollah. The terror group’s operatives continue to test Israel’s resolve. From the attack in Metula in April, to rockets fired from Lebanon during the May conflict with Islamic Jihad, to a recent incursion across the border, Israel has been slow to respond. No longer. There are several injuries according to Hezbollah media. What the group has in store from here largely depends on their patrons in Tehran.” — Jonathan Schanzer, FDD Senior Vice President for Research

Increased Threats

Emboldened by Israel’s internal judicial crisis and Iran’s nuclear advances, Hezbollah has been stepping up friction at the border. Last month, the IDF said Hezbollah had erected two tents over Israeli lines in a contested area of the border near Ghajar village. One of the tents remains, despite Israeli requests of the UNIFIL peacekeeper force to remove it. Last week, a group of around 30 Lebanese soldiers and suspected Hezbollah members briefly entered Israeli territory near Kibbutz Manara. The following day, an anti-tank rocket fired from Lebanon into Israel near Ghajar prompted retaliatory IDF artillery shelling.

Related Analysis

Hezbollah Establishes Armed Posts in Israeli Territory,” FDD Flash Brief

Hezbollah Linked to Murder of Irish Peacekeeper in Lebanon,” FDD Flash Brief


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