Why are Israel and Lebanon enemies?
The night was restless on Israel's borders, and the army reported two attacks. The first front opened up in the south, where a rocket was fired at Israel from the Palestinian Gaza Strip. It was rendered harmless by the Iron Dome defense system. The answer to the shelling was Israeli air strikes on positions of Hamas, ruling Gaza. This is almost a warlike routine, but what appears far more explosive is what happened almost at the same time high in the north on the Golan Heights, which Israel conquered in 1967 and annexed in 1981. According to the army, four attackers from Syria penetrated into Israeli territory in order to place explosive devices there. The intruders were killed, but the incident could have repercussions.
Tensions have been high in the north for weeks. This was triggered by an air strike near Damascus, attributed to Israel, in which a member of the Lebanese Hezbollah was also killed. The Shiite militia is fighting in the Syrian civil war with Iranian support on the side of President Bashar al-Assad. Because Hezbollah boss Hassan Nasrallah is always pushing for a "balance of deterrence" in relation to archenemy Israel, retaliation is expected since then. Israel has therefore increased its troops in the north and taken special precautionary measures.
"There are many players in Syria," said an Israeli army spokesman
However, in the current incident in the Golan Heights, it has not yet been finally clarified who carried it out. According to Israeli information, a four-man commando attempted to place explosives at an unoccupied army post near the border fence. The squad was spotted, watched for hours, and finally taken under fire from the ground and from the air. "I can say with certainty that they were killed," said Army spokesman Hidai Zilberman. "But we don't know who sent them. There are a lot of players in Syria."
In a statement by the army, the Syrian regime was held responsible for every attack originating from Syrian soil. The Israeli minister Juval Steinitz, actually responsible for energy and water issues, turned his gaze to Tehran and announced: "Our strategic goal is to prevent Iran from establishing itself militarily in Syria." The Shiite Hezbollah is seen as the extended arm of the Iranians.
If she is behind the incident in the Golan Heights, this would presumably be the second unsuccessful attempt at retaliation. Because a week ago, according to Israeli information, the infiltration of a Hezbollah commando had been thwarted on the border with Lebanon. No casualties were reported at the time and it was speculated that the Israelis had not wanted to escalate the situation further. The incident had simply been denied from Lebanon, along with the indication that retaliation by Hezbollah would follow.
If four fighters were killed in the confrontation in the Golan Heights, this could result in further violence. Unlike a week ago, the Israeli army has also published a video of the latest action, in which you first see the intruders and later also the explosion in which they were killed. An army spokesman stressed that troop reinforcements in the north would continue. "We have a lot of patience," he said.
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