Israel and Hezbollah exchange border fire

Israel and Hezbollah exchange border fire

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Iran-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has attacked an Israeli army base and a nearby military vehicle as tensions remain high along the border between Israel and Lebanon, CNN reports.

Israel says there were no casualties in the attack, and says it responded with artillery strikes on nearby Hezbollah positions, in the most serious single exchange across the border in more than four years.

The Israel Defense Forces have been on high alert in the north of the country for the past week after Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah vowed revenge for several attacks on Hezbollah targets in Lebanon and Syria last weekend.

Shortly after 4 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET) Sunday, the IDF says a Hezbollah squad fired anti-tank missiles at an Israeli battalion headquarters near the village of Avivim, hitting a building and a military ambulance but causing no casualties.

The IDF says it responded with around 100 artillery shells and "very limited" helicopter fire, targeting the area from where the missiles were fired, as well as other military sites.

It is the most serious cross-border exchange since January 2015 when Hezbollah killed two Israeli soldiers travelling in a jeep with an anti-tank missile, days after Israel had killed an Iranian general, the son of a senior Hezbollah commander and several others in an airstrike on a convoy of cars in Syria.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also serves as the country's defense minister, said Israel was now watching to see what Hezbollah does next. "We will decide on the next steps pending developments," he said in a statement.

The IDF remains on elevated alert in the border area, but as of 8 p.m. Sunday evening there were no restrictions on movements of Israeli civilians in the area.

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