Israeli army, defense minister warn of Hezbollah attack along Lebanon border

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The Israeli army’s chief of staff visited soldiers along the Lebanese border on Saturday, as reports circulate of Tel Aviv anticipating an attack from Hezbollah in response to the killing of one of its fighters in Syria.

Israel’s defense minister, Benny Gantz, also met with the Israeli army ahead of the military’s preparations “amid concerns of a Hezbollah reprisal,” The Times of Israel reported.

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Gantz ordered the army “to continue its heightened preparedness in the [military] sector and to use the required measures,” a statement from his office said, according to the Israeli outlet.

The Israeli minister also warned Syria and Lebanon that they would “bear direct responsibility” of any action they might take.

Last week, a Hezbollah fighter was killed in an Israeli airstrike near Damascus airport, according to a death notice declaring him a martyr with the Islamic Resistance, a reference to Hezbollah, and which was confirmed by the group.

Hezbollah has deployed fighters in Syria as part of Iranian-backed efforts to support President Bashar al-Assad in a conflict that spiraled out of protests against his rule in 2011.

Following the killing of two Hezbollah members in Damascus last August, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the group’s leader, vowed to respond if Israel killed any more of the group's fighters in the country.

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- With Reuters

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