JERUSALEM, Israel - Israeli tanks patrolled the Golan Heights on Tuesday near the site of fighting as a tense calm returned to Israel's northern border.
Explosions and gunfire erupted along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon Monday afternoon amid reports that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror group was executing an attack against the Jewish State.
The Israel Defense Forces told residents near the border to stay in their homes and roads have been closed.
Israel’s Channel 12 reports that a Hezbollah terror cell tried crossing the border and firing anti-tank missiles at Israeli soldiers. Israeli media reports that Israeli troops responded and Lebanese gunmen have been killed. There are no reports of casualties among IDF soldiers.
Just minutes before the incident, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Lebanon and Hezbollah that they will “bear the responsibility for any attack against us emanating from the Lebanese territory.”
“The IDF is prepared for any scenario,” he added.
Defense Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz issued a similar warning to the Hezbollah terror group on Sunday during a visit with military leaders to the Israeli-Lebanese border.
The IDF has been warning for days of a possible escalation with Hezbollah after the terror group accused Israel of killing one of its fighters during an alleged Israeli air raid in Syria last week.
Although Israel rarely comments on its activities in Syria Gantz said on Sunday that the nation has “security interests” in Syria and Lebanon.
He added that Israel will “continue to ensure our security interests,” including preventing Iranian entrenchment in the two countries.
“The situation in Lebanon and Syria is not good, not economically, not in terms of the coronavirus and not in terms of their infrastructure,” Gantz said. “I remind both Lebanon and Syria that they are responsible for what is happening in their territory. The State of Israel will demand this responsibility. We are not looking for unnecessary escalations, but whoever tests us will meet a very strong response. I hope we will not have to use it.”
Gantz suggested that he did not believe the current tensions will lead to a bigger conflict or war.
Shortly after his visit, the IDF said one of its drones operating along the border crashed inside Lebanon, but that no information could be taken from it.