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The New Arab

Hizballah destroys Israeli patrol in retaliation for Kuntar's killing

Hizballah had vowed revenge for the killing of prominent member Samir Kuntar (portrait) [AFP]

Date of publication: 4 January, 2016

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An Israeli army patrol was destroyed on Monday near the southern Lebanese border by a cell named after a Hizballah member assassinated in December.
Lebanon's Hizballah destroyed an Israeli army border patrol using an explosive device on Monday, injuring soldiers inside, the militant group has said.

"The Martyr Leader Samir Kuntar Group of the Islamic Resistance detonated a large explosive device on the Zebdine-Kafra road in the occupied Lebanese Shebaa Farms area, targeting an Israeli motorised vehicle, destroying the Hummer and injuring those inside it."

Israel responded with artillery fire into two Lebanese villages but Lebanese Army sources said there were no casualties on the Lebanese side.

Witnesses told The New Arab that shelling from Israeli tanks and artillery came from the occupied Shebaa Farms area, and targeted villages in south Lebanon.

Residents along the border said that bombs landed in agricultural areas inside Lebanon, with some 40 shells hitting the village of Ghajar and the part of the Shebaa Farms not under direct Israeli occupation.
Adraee denied reports of Israeli soldiers being kidnapped

Israeli army spokesman Avichai Adraee said a heavy-weight explosive device targeted two Israeli military vehicles in the "Mount Dov" area, known as Lebanon's Kafr Shuba Hills.

Adraee denied reports of Israeli soldiers being kidnapped or anti-tank rockets being launched from the Lebanese side.

Hizballah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, "warned" Israel last month that the group would retaliate for the assassination of prominent member Samir Kuntar.

Samir Kuntar

Kuntar was killed along with several others in an airstrike, which violated Syrian airspace near the Syrian capital Damascus on 20 December.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied that it carried out the attack, although it has recently admitted responsibility for a number of airstrikes in Syria.

Kuntar's death was the latest in a long line of suspected Israeli assassinations of Hizballah officials in recent years.

In February 2008, Israel killed Imad Mughniyeh in Syria. In December 2013, an Israel-linked squad gunned down senior Hizballah commander Hassan Lakkis.

In January 2015, an Israeli airstrike killed Jihad Mughniyeh, Imad's son, in addition to five Hizballah fighters and an Iranian Revolutionary Guards general.

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