UNIFIL Urges 'Maximum Restraint' after Lebanon-Israel Border 'Clashes'

UNIFIL Urges 'Maximum Restraint' after Lebanon-Israel Border 'Clashes'

The Israeli military said there had been a "security incident" on Israel's northern border with Lebanon and Israeli media reported there was an exchange of fire in the area with militants of the Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi'ite group.

Lebanon claims Shebaa Farms as its own, while Israel says the territory is part of the Syrian Golan Heights, which it occupies. Hezbollah accused Israel of killing one of its fighters in an airstrike near Damascus on Monday.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Lebanese Hezbollah fighters not to test his military, and Defense Minister Benny Gantz has promised a powerful response, after a bout of shelling on the Israel/Lebanon border.

The two sides have visibly mobilised in recent days, with Israel moving artillery and infantry units to the border, and Hezbollah displaying images on social media of a Kornet anti-tank missile.

In a separate meeting, General Milli discussed the latest developments with the head of Mossad, Yossi Cohen, and spoke over video conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and discussed the "threats posed by the Islamic Republic of Iran", and other regional security concerns.

Al-Mayadeen, a pan-Arabist satellite television channel affiliated with Hezbollah, reported on Saturday that Israel had sent a message to the terror organization, warning it against military revenge for the death of its operative in Syria. Israel, which considers Iran to be its greatest enemy, has acknowledged carrying out scores of airstrikes in Syria it says were meant to stop Iran from transferring sophisticated weapons to Hezbollah.

"Given the assessment of the situation (.) it was chose to send a specific infantry reinforcement to the northern military command on the border with Lebanon", Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee was quoted as saying.

Last year, the IDF claimed to have delivered a major blow to Hezbollah's operations, saying it had sealed off numerous underground tunnels that the group had dug from Lebanon's territory leading into Israel in order to covertly cross the border between the two countries.

Israel and Hizbullah last fought a 33-day war in Lebanon in the summer of 2006.

There was no immediate statement by Hezbollah. "We are prepared for a wide variety of scenarios and are constantly holding situational assessments, and we will continue to prepare as needed to defend [the area] and for operational activities as necessary".

"Lebanon and Syria are sovereign states and will bear the painful responsibility for any terrorist act that takes place on their territory", he added.

The U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon, known as UNIFIL, said its commander Maj.

He urged both parties to exercise "maximum restraint".

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