Amid fear of Hezbollah attack, IDF walls off section of Lebanon border
Troops position concrete wall near Kibbutz Misgav Am; four years ago, similar protection was built at Metulla
Fearing plots by Hezbollah to send gunmen into Israel to attack soldiers and civilians, Israel is gradually walling off further parts of its northern border with Lebanon.
Israel’s Channel 2 news on Wednesday showed sections of concrete wall being installed near to Kibbutz Misgav Am, a border community in the Upper Galilee.
It noted that a project to bolster the border area had been underway for some time.
In 2012, a seven-meter (23-foot) high wall separating Israel from Lebanon near the border town of Metulla was completed. The 1,200-meter-long (3,937-foot) wall is outfitted with sophisticated cameras and sensory equipment aimed at preventing infiltration. The 2006 Second Lebanon War began with a cross-border attack by Hezbollah.
Wednesday’s footage was broadcast two days after the Israel Defense Forces began a surprise military exercise in northern Israel.
A new wall near the Lebanon border at Kibbutz Misgav Am, April 20, 2016, in the shadow of a UN position (Channel 2 screenshot)
Large numbers of aircraft, vehicles and IDF troops took part in the drill, which was designed to test the preparedness of the Northern Command, the IDF Spokesperson said in a statement.
Residents in the Golan Regional Council and in the Jordan Valley Regional Council were warned to expect increased movement of emergency forces and military vehicles throughout the week.
The drill is geared toward “maintaining competency and vigilance of the troops,” the statement said.
Since the beginning of 2016, Israel has conducted a series of military drills designed to test the preparedness of the army and emergency response teams.
The IDF also held a two-day general drill in and around the northern city of Safed at the weekend.
Amid fast-rising tensions along the border with the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, Israel last week carried out its largest civilian drill near the Palestinian enclave since its 2014 war with Hamas, according to a report on Channel 2.
Israeli troops simulate an operation to overcome terrorists with hostages, in a drill at the dining hall at Kibbutz Erez, near Gaza, April 14, 2016 (Channel 2 screenshot)
Medics, the fire department and civilian response teams simulated a Hamas incursion into Israeli territory, including an attack on an Israeli kibbutz near the border and the taking of hostages by terrorists. The exercise, which was held at Kibbutz Erez, included troops overpowering the terrorists in the community’s dining hall.
On Monday, Israel announced it had found a tunnel dug under the border from Gaza by Hamas. It destroyed the tunnel a day later.
And on Tuesday, the IDF announced it would complete a sophisticated new border for Gaza within two years.