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The Israeli army said Monday it had foiled an attempt by Hezbollah to infiltrate into Israel, adding that all residents of the border area had been ordered indoors for an hour after an exchange of artillery fire between the two sides. But Hezbollah denied any involvement with Israel saying it did not engage in any clashes or open fire. “Everything claimed by the Israeli media and the IDF about a Hezbollah infiltration… is an attempt to invent false Israeli victories,” the movement said.

The alleged clash comes after the Iranian -backed Lebanese Shi’ite group vowed to avenge the death of one of its fighters, who was reportedly killed in an airstrike on pro-Iranian militants in Syria that a war-monitoring group has attributed to Israel.

Hezbollah said its response the operative’s killing “will definitely come,” and warned that “Zionists only have to wait for punishment for their crimes.” The statement added that Hezbollah would also respond to reported damage to a civilian house in the Lebanese village of Habbariyeh.

Lebanese media reported earlier a shell had fallen on a house in the town

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Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said 2 hours ago I: “The incident on Lebanon’s border has not yet ended and I ask Cabinet ministers not to make any statement about the incident. ” A round 8:00 pm local time he made another statement in which he warned that Israel will hold Hezbollah and Lebanon responsible for any attacks from Lebanon into Israel.

“Any attack from Hezbollah will have a strong response, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said

Hezbollah has to know it’s playing with fire,” Netanyahu warned in his statement to the press. “Any attack will be met with great force. [Hezbollah leader Hasan] Nazrallah is greatly mistaken about Israel’s determination to defend itself, and Lebanon has paid a heavy price for this mistake.”

Earlier today the spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces, Brig. Gen. Hidai Zilberman, said about five Hezbollah operatives had crossed several meters into Israel on Monday but fled back into Lebanon after Israeli forces opened fire.

One of the Lebanese sources said Monday Hezbollah had carried out an operation in retaliation for the death of the Hezbollah fighter killed in an apparent Israeli strike on the edge of Damascus last Monday.

Another Lebanese source said Hezbollah had fired a guided missile at an Israeli tank. Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus told reporters he was unaware of any such incident.

The incident occurred in the Shebaa Farms area, occupied by Israel and claimed by Lebanon. The United Nations regards the territory as part of Syrian land captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.

A Reuters witness in Lebanon counted dozens of Israeli shells hitting the area, landing near an Israeli military position. Fires burned and smoke rose from the area.

About an hour after initial Israeli reports of a security incident in the area, the military said it had lifted an order for Israelis living along the northern border to stay indoors.

The incident occurred in the Shebaa Farms , an area that  was captured from Syria by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war. Hezbollah and Syria claim it is a Lebanese territory but Syria refuses to demarcate the border with Lebanon and declare in writing that Shebaa is Lebanese . The United Nations regards the territory as part of captured Syrian Golan Heights area .

A Reuters witness in Lebanon counted dozens of Israeli shells hitting the area, landing near an Israeli military position. Fires burned and smoke rose from the area.

About an hour after initial Israeli reports of a security incident in the area, the military said it had lifted an order for Israelis living along the northern border to stay indoors.

“Lebanon and Hezbollah will bear the responsibility for any attack from Lebanese territory,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in broadcast remarks.

Agencies

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