Netanyahu warns Hezbollah after Israeli strike in Syria

by 24USATVAug. 4, 2020, 10 p.m. 31
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An Israeli soldier drives a tank during an exercise in the Israeli controlled Golan Heights near the border with Syria, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020.

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday warned the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group and others after Israeli forces said they thwarted an infiltration attempt from Syria by suspected militants.

The Israeli military announced late Monday that it had struck targets in Syria after the militants tried to plant explosives in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. Israel struck the four suspects, who were believed to have been killed.

Netanyahu, who toured a military base on Tuesday, said Israel would not hesitate to take further action.

"We hit a cell and now we hit the dispatchers. We will do what is necessary in order to defend ourselves. I suggest to all of them, including Hezbollah, to consider this," he said.

The incidents come amid heightened tension on Israel's northern frontier following a recent Israeli airstrike that killed a Hezbollah fighter in Syria and anticipation that the militant Lebanese group would retaliate.

Following the airstrike, the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights was hit by explosives fired from Syria and Israel responded by attacking Syrian military positions and beefing up its forces in the area.

Last week, Israel also said it thwarted an infiltration attempt from Lebanon by Hezbollah militants, setting off one of the heaviest exchanges of fire along the volatile Israel-Lebanon frontier since a 2006 war between the bitter enemies.

Israel considers Hezbollah to be its most immediate threat. Since battling Israel to a stalemate during a monthlong war in 2006, Hezbollah has gained more battlefield experience fighting alongside the Syrian government in that country's bloody civil war.

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