July 27, 2020 / 4:49 PM / 9 days ago

Lebanon's Hezbollah denies infiltration attempt or clashes near Lebanese frontier

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Iran-backed Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah on Monday denied its forces had tried to infiltrate the Lebanese-Israeli frontier or that it had engaged in clashes in the disputed Shebaa Farms area.

The group’s statement was issued after an Israeli military spokesman said Israeli troops had “thwarted an infiltration attempt by a Hezbollah terror squad” across a boundary with Israeli-occupied territory.

Lebanese sources had told Reuters that Hezbollah carried out an operation against the Israeli military, days after a member of the group was killed in an alleged Israeli attack in Syria.

Hezbollah said in its statement that Monday’s incident was “one-sided” and that Israeli forces had “moved nervously on the ground” due to a heightened state of alert.

“There were no clashes or opening of fire from our side in today’s events,” it said. “Our response to the martyrdom of Ali Kamel (Mohsen)... will surely come.”

The Shebaa Farms area is occupied by Israel and claimed by Lebanon. The United Nations regards the territory as part of Syrian land captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.

Reporting by Laila Bassam; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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