Anticipating Hezbollah Strike, Israel Restricts Movement Along Border

Israeli army bans military vehicles from roads within five kilometers (three miles) of Lebanon border over fears of exposing them to Hezbollah attack

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The Lebanese Bekaa valley as seen from the Israeli side of the border, August 26, 2019.
The Lebanese Bekaa valley as seen from the Israeli side of the border, August 26, 2019. Credit: Gil Eliahu

The Israeli military restricted movement on roads adjacent to the border with Lebanon Tuesday, over fears that Hezbollah would retaliate against alleged Israeli attacks within its borders and in Syria.

According to the instructions published by the Israeli Defense Forces, movement on roads within five kilometers (three miles) of the Lebanese border is completely forbidden. Among others, this includes roads between Sasa and Ramot Naftali and other areas exposed to the border.

Timeline of events over the past week amid an escalation in the Middle East involving Syria, Iraq and Israel.Credit: Haaretz

Every operational drive requires the approval of a senior commander and has to be carried out with the appropriate cautionary measures.

On Sunday, Hezbollah said that two Israeli drones, carrying explosives, crashed into the organization's media center in Dahyyeh south of Beirut. Hours later, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said Israeli drones had struck its headquarters in Lebanon's Bekaa valley, near the border with Syria. 

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While Israel has not claimed responsibility for the attacks, Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah deemed the Beirut incident the first Israeli attack inside Lebanon since the two sides fought a month-long war in 2006

Nasrallah warned Israeli soldiers at the border to await a response and vowed to down any Israeli drones flying in Lebanese skies.

Hezbollah's retaliations to attacks they attributed to IsraelCredit: Haaretz

The Lebanese President Michel Aoun also addressed the drone attacks on Monday, calling it "a declaration of war which allows us to resort to our right to defending our sovereignty."

The Israeli defense establishment is reportedly taking Hezbollah's threats seriously. In anticipation of possible retaliatory rocket fire, the Israeli military has deployed its Iron Dome missile defense systems in Israel's north, near the border with Syria and Lebanon.