Israel tells Hezbollah it didn’t intend to kill militant in airstrike, report says
Jack Khoury | Jul. 25, 2020 | 7:41 PM - Haaretz.com
Israel sent a message to Hezbollah saying that it did not intend to kill one of the organization’s fighters in an airstrike in Syria last week, the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen channel reported Saturday night.
In the message, reportedly sent to the Lebanese Shi’ite militant group through the United Nations, Israel told Hezbollah that it was unaware that its fighters were in the area.
The report also said that Israel sent a warning against any military response from Hezbollah over the strike. The organization confirmed that it had received the messages but denied any Israeli threats, the report said.
Israel’s military has taken a number of steps to increase preparedness after Hezbollah said in a statement this week that one of its fighters was killed in a Monday night strike blamed on Israel near Damascus International Airport, south of the Syrian capital.
In several towns in Israel’s north, roads that pass through exposed areas will be closed and alternate routes will be made available. The military has also decided to reduce the number of troops and equipment at the front lines and erect more effective defenses in case of an attack.
Israeli airstrikes that hit military posts south of Damascus on Monday killed five foreign fighters and wounded several others, a Syrian war monitor reported. The airstrikes came in response to an earlier attack on the Golan Heights which it attributed to Syrian forces.
Hezbollah said the fighter’s family, who is from Aaitit in southern Lebanon, will not be receiving condolences due to the coronavirus, adding that a date will be set later for the funeral.