Israel announced it has deployed troops to its northern border amid an “infiltration” of “suspects” into the country.
The Israeli military said in a statement: “A report was received regarding the infiltration of a number of suspects into Israeli territory from Lebanese territory. Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers are deployed in the area”.
Helicopters, the military added, “are currently striking in the area”.
Neither the total number of those seen as infiltrators by the IDF nor the exact location was specified by the Israeli army, but a swirl of reports on Monday afternoon provided further insight.
Israeli TV claimed two of the suspected “infiltrators” were killed in a clash with troops.
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N12 News reported that three Israeli soldiers were left “moderately injured” in an exchange of fire.
And the country’s Army Radio alleged the clash happened near Adamit, across from the Lebanese border towns of Aalma El Chaeb and Zahajra.
An influx of fighters from Lebanon could mark a major development in the conflict and may lead to the war expanding beyond the Israeli border.
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The Lebanese area bordering Israel is controlled by Hezbollah, an Islamist group backed, armed and funded by Iran.
On Sunday, Hezbollah said to have launched guided rockets and artillery onto three posts in Shebaa Farms – a territory captured by Israel in 1967 but still claimed by Lebanon – to show “solidarity” with Palestinians.
A statement by the group read: “On the path to liberate the remaining part of our occupied Lebanese land and in solidarity with the victorious Palestinian resistance and the steadfast Palestinian people, the groups of the martyr commander Hajj Imad Moghniyeh in the Islamic Resistance carried out an attack this Sunday, October 08, 2023, targeting three Zionist occupation sites in the occupied Lebanese Shebaa Farms region.”
While this self-described show of support was focused in a contested area, Hezbollah denied on Monday to have launched any operation into the Israeli territory.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Sunday night his country was “at war” in the wake of the devastating and unexpected attacks launched by Hamas on Saturday.
Approximately 800 Israelis have died since the terror attack began, according to Israeli TV, and more than 410 Palestinians died as a result of the retaliatory air strikes launched by Tel Aviv on Gaza.
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