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Netanyahu says Israel might launch another strike in Lebanon

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-09-02 09:25
Israeli mobile artillery units are deployed next to the Israeli-Lebanese border in Upper Galilee of northern Israel on Sept 1, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

JERUSALEM -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that his country is ready to launch another attack at Hezbollah in Lebanon after fire exchanges broke out along the Lebanese border.

Netanyahu said that he had held consultation with the army's command following an anti-tank missile attack launched by Hezbollah earlier in the afternoon.

"We are prepared for any scenario and will decide how to continue based on further events," he said, warning Hezbollah not to fire more missiles.

Shortly after 16:00 p.m. local time (13:00 GMT), Hezbollah fired anti-tank missiles at an Israeli military position near the community of Avivim in northern Israel's upper Galilee near the Lebanese border.

Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman with the Israeli military, told reporters that two or three Hezbollah missiles were fired and hit a battalion headquarters and a military ambulance. Both were damaged.

There were no injuries among the Israeli forces.

Conricus said that in response, the army attacked the Hezbollah squad that fired the missiles with about 100 artillery shells and attack helicopters.

"This is a scenario that we have been preparing for since Sunday," he said, referring to warnings issued by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who vowed to retaliate against an Israeli drone attack in Beirut last week.

"Hezbollah executed the attack. However, it failed to cause casualties," he said, adding that the army still "maintains a high level of alert."

Earlier on Sunday, the Israeli army confirmed that it sparked fires near the border. According to Hezbollah's al-Manar media outlet, the fires were caused by incendiary materials dropped by Israeli drones.

The recent violence was a sharp escalation between Israel and Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed armed group and movement.

Israel and Hezbollah, which fought a bloody war in 2006, were on high alert over the past days in the wake of a series of Israeli airstrikes in Syria and Lebanon.

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