Israel Shelled in South, Violated Airspace, Lebanese Army Says

An Israeli drone violated Lebanon's airspace and dropped incendiary material that sparked a fire in a pine forest by the border on Sunday, the Lebanese army said.

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The Lebanese army statement said it was following up with UN peacekeepers in the area but gave no further details.

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Other reports from Lebanon claimed that unmanned aerial vehicles dropped flammables on a grove nearby known as the Bastra Farm in order to set fire to the place so as to expose further targets.

The Israeli army confirmed fires broke out in the area due to military action. 

Over the weekend, illuminating bombs were hurled over the Shebba Farms, and Lebanese media outlets reported that fires were sparked as a result.

Area where reported strikes on targets in southern Lebanon took place.

The reported attack comes a day after Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that his Shi'ite group will retaliate for drone attacks last week in Beirut that he has attributed to Israel "in every possible place along the border."

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"Our response for last week's events will be [launched from] within Lebanon against Israeli targets. We usually strike in the area of the Shebba Farms [Mount Dov]," but this time the group will not limit its attacks on one area, he added.

The Israeli military bolstered troops on the northern border over the weekend due to concerns that such a retaliatory attack will take place.

The Israeli defense establishment still believes the Shi'ite group is determined to respond to the attack, but is not interested in sparking a war. Nonetheless, security forces are preparing for the possibility of a violent round of fighting that could lead to another strike in Lebanon. Aerial defense batteries have been deployed in the north to thwart drones and other umanned aerial vehicles that terror organization may try to launch to attack Israel. The Israeli army has also instructed that the airspace near the northern border be closed off. The Israel Navy, meanwhile, is preparing for possible attacks on Israeli vessels. 

On Saturday, local residents reported seeing many troops moving around the area of the Golan Heights, and said they saw tanks and armored personnel carriers. Illuminating bombs were fired overnight on Friday near the Druze village of Majdal Shams, and Lebanese media outlets reported that the bombs had caused fires to break out in the area. 

The Israeli military began preparing for a retaliatory attack by Hezbollah following an attack last week, which the group claimed Israel had carried out: Two explosive-laden drones hit a machine designed to improve precision missiles, which was being operated in Dahieh – a Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut. The Israeli defense establishment assessed that Hezbollah would try to retaliate but would react moderately; the army minimized patrols along the borders with Lebanon and Syria in order to avoid presenting possible targets for the group to attack.