Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV has aired footage which purports to show Sunday’s attack on an Israeli military vehicle across the Lebanese-Israeli border at Avivim in the far north of Israel.
Hezbollah and Lebanese media sources had claimed the attack “killed and wounded those inside” — something which Israeli officials, including PM Netanyahu, have denied. The attack involving two guided anti-tank missiles was hailed as successful by Hezbollah leadership, and led to brief Israeli shelling of locations in southern Lebanon; however, no casualties were reported.
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) September 2, 2019
The second projectile seen in the video, described by reports as a Kornet anti-tank missile, can be seen landing in the smoke and blast radius of the first. It appears a direct hit on the IDF armored vehicle.
Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah had previously promised a calculated and decisive military response to last week’s Israeli drone attacks on Hezbollah offices in south Beirut, and the separate drone assassination of a PFLP commander in Bekaa valley.
The Israeli Defense Forces confirmed that “A number of anti-aircraft missiles were fired from Lebanon at an IDF base and military vehicles in the area.” It added Sunday, “There are a number of hits.”
Al Manar releases footage that shows how #Hezbollah targeted and destroyed the Israeli military vehicle yesterday in #Avivim in retaliation for Israel's murder of two Hezbollah soldiers in #Syria and the drone attack on #Beirut #Lebanon #Israel #Palestine pic.twitter.com/c2NPr1hxNC
— Ibn Walid (@walid970721) September 2, 2019
But it remains disputed whether Israeli soldiers were killed or injured in the attack. Hezbollah says the newly released video evidence of the attack is proof the Israeli army took on casualties, while Israeli leadership continues to dispute this – despite Israeli media airing medevac helicopters active in the area immediately after the missile strike.
Hezbollah’s media arm posted photos said to prove the attack resulted in casualties:
Some analysts suggest the Israeli prime minister could be hiding army casualties from the attack in order to avoid the pressure of escalation ahead of crucial September elections.
The IDF was accused of using white phosphorus or other incendiary weapon to set fire to the Lebanese side of the border during its counter-attack Sunday.
Regardless, since Israeli’s limited shelling of the Lebanese side of the border in the hours after the attack, a tense calm has ensued as it appears neither side is interested in escalation that could mark a return to the Lebanon-wide 2006 war, which included devastating Israeli aerial bombardment for a month.
For now it doesn’t appear war is on the horizon given the exchange of fire ceased soon after Sunday’s dangerous but brief escalation.