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Israel repelled infiltration by Hezbollah, IDF says

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that any attack on Israel will be met with great force after the Israel Defense Forces stopped an attack by Hezbollah militants near Mount Dov. Pool Photo by Tal Shahar/UPI
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that any attack on Israel "will be met with great force" after the Israel Defense Forces stopped an attack by Hezbollah militants near Mount Dov. Pool Photo by Tal Shahar/UPI | License Photo

July 27 (UPI) -- Israel stopped an attack Monday by Hezbollah militants near Mount Dov after several operatives crossed into Israel from Lebanon, Israel Defense Forces said. No injuries were reported on either side.

IDF spokesman Brig. Gen. Hidai Zilberman said three to five Hezbollah militants crossed the Israeli border, and military members opened fire on them with tank shells and machine guns after they were identified.

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The Hezbollah operatives retreated back into Lebanon without returning fire.

Hezbollah issued a statement through militant-run outlet Al-Mayadeen saying there was no incident.

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"The Islamic Resistance confirms no clash or exchange of fire occurred on its end during today's incidents until this moment," Hezbollah said. "Instead, all came from one side, that of the fearful, worried, and nervous Israeli enemy."

Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shi'ite group supported by Iran, had vowed revenge for the death of a fighter killed in a recent Syrian airstrike blamed on Israel.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking alongside Defense Minister Benny Gantz, said that any attack from Hezbollah would be met with a strong reaction from Israel.

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"Hezbollah has to know it's playing with fire," said Netanyahu. "Any attack will be met with great force. [Hezbollah leader Hasan] Nasrallah is greatly mistaken about Israel's determination to defend itself and Lebanon has paid a heavy price for this mistake."

Gantz praised the IDF for preventing "a serious event that could have cost human lives."

"Israel is determined as ever to protect the lives of its soldiers and its civilians," he said. "Whoever dares test the force of the IDF is putting himself and the state he comes from in danger."

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