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Israel strikes Hezbollah post

It says shots were fired from militant positions in Lebanon

Israel said on Wednesday it had launched air strikes against Hezbollah observation posts in Lebanon after shots were fired from across the border towards its troops the previous evening.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the shooting on Shiite militant group Hezbollah with which Israel fought a devastating month-long war in 2006, and pledged a “forceful” response to any further incidents.

“I advise Hezbollah not to test Israel’s crushing strength,” he wrote in Hebrew on Twitter.

“Hezbollah is once again endangering the state of Lebanon due to its aggression.”

The border flare-up came hours after Lebanon rejected an Israeli call to reform the UN peacekeeping force which patrols the border ahead of a UN Security Council vote to renew its mandate.

The Israeli Army had said earlier that a “security incident” was unfolding near Manara, a kibbutz near the UN-demarcated border between the two countries, and urged residents to take shelter. “During operational activity in northern Israel last night, shots were fired from Lebanon toward (Israeli) troops,” the military said on Twitter.

“We responded with fire, & our aircraft struck Hezbollah observation posts near the border. This is a severe event & we remain ready to combat any threat to our borders.”

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency (NNA) reported Israeli gunfire and flares around the village of Mays al-Jabal, just across the border from Manara.

The Israeli Army said “troops deployed dozens of illumination rounds and smoke shells and responded with fire”.

Afterwards “attack helicopters and aircraft struck Hezbollah observation posts”. It reported no Israeli casualties.

Lebanon’s top security body, the Supreme Defence Council, decided to file a complaint to the UN Security Council over the Israeli fire into Lebanon, NNA reported.

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