The Jerusalem Post reported that IDF soldiers who had responded to Hezbollah elements infiltrated into Israel on Monday had received an order not to kill them, in an attempt to reduce tensions on the border.
The newspaper quoted sources familiar with the incident, on Thursday, as saying that the IDF did not want to kill infiltrators inside Israeli territory, as they would have to detain their bodies, which would have prompted Hezbollah to respond by firing rockets across the border.
“If Hezbollah launches rockets and targets civilians alongside the soldiers, we will have no choice but to respond and we will find ourselves in a state of war,” a source said.
According to the Israeli army, a Hezbollah cell, comprising between three and five gunmen, crossed the border and entered a few hundred meters into Israeli territory before the IDF opened fire on them to return to the Lebanese territory.
The source said that “the terrorists who were seen in a video carrying weapons, had crossed the border, and added:” They knew their whereabouts, “noting that they were meters away from the Israeli army’s” Gladiola “site when his forces clashed with them.
The newspaper “Maariv” reported that the members of the cell were detected moving slowly towards Israel and that they were under observation for several hours before crossing into Israel and facing the army, who fired at them to return them to Lebanon, where they were picked up by a car waiting for them.
According to the Israeli media, the IDF has a video of the attack, which was filmed “from several angles”, including footage showing members of the cell climbing a hill in the Shab’a farms.
The IDF is likely to release the video in the coming days.
Hizbullah has previously denied the Israeli version and allegations of such an attack, vowing to avenge the killing of one of its members in an Israeli air strike in Syria last week.