Several anti-tank missiles were fired from Lebanon towards an IDF base and military vehicles northern Israel, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit announced Sunday afternoon.
“A number of anti-aircraft missiles were fired from Lebanon at an IDF base and military vehicles in the area,” the IDF said. “There are a number of confirmed hits.”
Following the Kornet attack, Israel’s military returned fire at targets in southern Lebanon and ordered residents living within 4 kilometers of the border to remain in their homes and open their bomb shelters. Any activity along the border fence area, including agricultural work, is prohibited.
Al-Mayadeen reported that Hezbollah took responsibility for the attack near the community of Avivim saying that it destroyed an IDF vehicle and “killed all the occupants inside.” The report indicating that it was in response to the Israeli airstrike in Syria which killed two Hezbollah operatives.
Lebanese media reported that the IDF shelled sites near the Lebanese border town of Maroun al-Ras.
Earlier on Sunday the Hezbollah affiliated al-Manar news channel reported that the IDF fired several shells were fired causing fires on the Lebanese side but no injuries.
The Lebanese army reported that an Israeli drone dropped incendiary material on a forest along the border, sparking a fire. The statement by the Lebanse Armed Forces said that it was following up on the Israeli violation with UN peacekeepers.
"A short while ago, fires broke out in the Lebanese border area. The fires originate with operations by our forces in the area,” the IDF said in a statement.
Israel's enemies, especially Iran, should know that those who seek to destroy it risk destruction themselves, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday, amid mounting tensions with Iran and its proxies in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza.
Speaking to students on the first day of school in Elkana, Netanyahu said it is clear today that most of the terrorism Israel faces is organized, sponosred and funded from one place: Iran.
“A new empire has arisen with the goal of defeating us,” he said. “They build proxies in Lebanon in the form of Hezbollah, in Gaza in the form of Hamas and Islamic Jihad. They are trying to entrench themselves in Iraq to turn it into not only a country through which it can transfer arms to Syria and Hezbollah, but also to turn it into a launching pad for rockets and infiltrations against us.”
Netanyahu said that Israel is fighting Iran on all these fronts, and is determined to prevent it from entrenching itself militarily in the region and from getting nuclear weapons, “which would unequivocally alter the balance.”
Israel’s Northern Command has been on high alert since last week expecting a limited strike against military targets over strikes in Syria and an alleged Israeli drone attack in Beirut’s Dahiyeh last week.
Lebanon’s National News Agency reported on Saturday that the IDF launched over 30 flare bombs near the Lebanese border towns of Ghajar, Shebaa and Kfar Shuba as well and fired heavy machine guns near the villages of al-Semmaqah, al-Alam and al-Marsad.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said on Saturday evening that the military had also begun preparing ground, air, naval and intelligence troops for the possibility of an outbreak of violence in northern Israel, specifically in the Galilee. A convoy of artillery was seen been moved north by local residents.
In addition to the reinforcement of artillery batteries, Iron Dome missile defense batteries have been deployed and leave for combat soldiers in the area has been cancelled. The IDF has also closed the airspace to civilian flights, closing the civilian airport in Kiryat Shmona and has put the Navy on high alert for an attack by Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The moves are part of the military’s strengthening of power and readiness in anticipation of any retaliation by the Lebanese Shiite terror group which it expects against IDF troops or a military installation along the border.
On Saturday night Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah warned that it was “ineveitable” that the group will retaliate against Israel which he said claimed responsibility for attacks on Lebanon, Iraq and Syria.
“Normally, we respond from Shebaa Farms, but this time I wanted to say it would be open-ended where we would retaliate from. This time it won’t be restricted to coming from Shebaa,” Nasrallah was quoted as saying by the Hezbollah affiliated al-Manar Television Channel.
“The first retaliation on the Israeli aggression would be initiating our right to down Israeli drones.Israel should know that the Lebanese airspace is not open to its drones and the Resistance will choose the right time and place to target the Israeli drones in our airspace,” he continued.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi toured the area on Friday and the Head of the Northern Command Maj.-Gen. Amir Baram warned that Hezbollah and Lebanon would suffer a “harsh response” to any attack.
“You should be preparing not for Hezbollah’s response against the IDF, but for their response to our response” to such an attack, Baram said, vowing that “if an IDF soldier is so much as scratched, our response will be harsh.”