This incident took place late Tuesday night around midnight as I was up North camping with my family. This serious security incident received very little media attention, even though the Hezbollah attack has potentially drastic repercussions.
All of us vacationing in the camping sites heard the constant artillery fire, having no idea what was going on. We only found out afterwards that a serious security incident occurred.
“Regarding the security incident that took place last night at 10:40 p.m. in the area of [the Manara community], during operational activity, IDF troops were fired upon from Lebanese territory,” the army said in a statement. They ordered all residents of nearby communities to find shelter in their homes and stay there.
No injuries were reported to IDF soldiers, and there were no immediate reports of casualties in Lebanon. There was no immediate reaction from Hezbollah.
“In response to the gunfire, IDF attack helicopters and aircraft struck terror targets belonging to the Hezbollah terror group,” the IDF said, adding that among the targets were Hezbollah observation posts along the border.
Israel lodged a protest with the United Nations over the incident. “The last attack directed at IDF forces, together with Hizbullah’s strengthening and its activities in south Lebanon, raise the chances of escalation on [our] northern border that could have terrible consequences for Lebanon and the entire region,” Gilad Erdan, Israel’s new ambassador to the world body, wrote on Wednesday in a letter to the Security Council. He requested that the United Nations Security Council take immediate measures against the Lebanese government and to change the function of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
Erdan attached an aerial photo showing where Israel believes the shooting took place, noting that it was within yards of a post used by UNIFIL, the UN’s peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon. According to the Israeli delegation to the UN, the photo shows the “powerlessness” of UNIFIL. “There is no justification for having an ineffective force operate in territory which Hezbollah is using to arm itself.”
The peacekeepers’ mandate, set to expire on August 31, is up for renewal. Israel has been pressing the Security Council to extend it to the border between Lebanon and Syria, which Israeli Intelligence believes is being used by Hizbullah to smuggle advanced weaponry, including rocket-guidance systems, shipped to Syria from Iran.