Israel, Hezbollah exchange fire near Lebanon border

Israel Defense Forces soldiers stationed along the border with Lebanon

Israel Defense Forces soldiers stationed along the border with Lebanon

Earlier on Monday, Mr Netanyahu said: "We maintain the policy that I set years ago: we will not allow Iran to establish itself on our border". Israel did not take responsibility for that strike, but Hezbollah was quick to blame Israel and promised to react. Lebanon and Syria are responsible for any attack from its territory against Israel. "Anyone who dares to test the power of the IDF will endanger himself and the country from which he operates".

"A number of targets were struck, including SAF observation posts and intelligence collection systems located in SAF bases", the military said in a statement, referring to the Syrian Armed Forces.

Whether the Lebanese militants actually crossed the border or not on Monday, Israel has been preparing for a confrontation for several days now.

The Israeli military on Friday said its helicopters struck Syrian army targets in response to mortars fired toward the Golan Heights.

"The Islamic Resistance emphasizes that no clashes or gunfire have taken place in today's developments", the statement said.

On Monday, five Iran-backed fighters were killed in an Israeli missile strike south of the Syrian capital Damascus, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. "The Zionists have only to wait for their crimes to be punished".

An Israeli military spokesman threatened with "a very lethal response". The Israel Defense Forces said it was considering releasing the footage from the incident.

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Israeli sources, however, refused to link the shelling to Hezbollah, saying that the latter did not respond because it is confused and knows that Israel will not remain silent.

The Israeli military apparently continues to regularly patrol the border area with Lebanon after sealing off several underground tunnels past year that were built by Hezbollah from the country's territory. The military maintained its own roadblocks in the area, preventing IDF vehicles from traveling on certain highways along the border that were considered vulnerable to attack from Lebanon.

He urged both parties to exercise "maximum restraint".

More than a dozen communities in the Mount Dov area where the incident occurred were told to stay indoors. After an hour, the IDF removed these restrictions, permitting civilians in northern Israel to move about the area freely.

Israel chose to boost its forces on the confrontation line with Hezbollah after an attack earlier this week near Damascus International Airport killed five combatants including a fighter from the Iran-backed terror group that is fighting on behalf of Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad.

Israel's Kan TV news reported that the drone apparently crashed due to a malfunction.

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