Hezbollah destroys Israeli surveillance cameras along the Lebanese border as tension soars

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group said Monday it has started destroying surveillance cameras on several Israeli army posts along the border as tension rose following the Israel-Hamas war that began Oct.7.

Hezbollah’s military media arm released a video showing snipers shooting at and destroying surveillance cameras placed on five points along the Lebanon-Israel border including one outside the Israeli town of Metula.

The militant group appears to want to prevent the Israeli army from monitoring movements on the Lebanese side of the border after days of fire exchange that left at least seven people dead, including four Hezbollah fighters, on the Lebanese side.

Since the Oct. 7, attack by the Palestinian militant Hamas group on southern Israel that killed more than 1,400 Israeli civilians and troops, tension has been on the rise along the Lebanon-Israel border. Hezbollah fighters fired anti-tank missiles on Israeli army positions and Israeli troops shelled border areas on the Lebanese side of the border.

Israel and Hezbollah are bitter enemies that fought a monthlong war in the summer of 2006 that ended in a draw. Israel considers the Iran-backed Shiite militant group its most serious immediate threat, estimating that Hezbollah has some 150,000 rockets and missiles aimed at Israel.

There are concerns that the powerful Iran-backed Hezbollah could join the war with Israel and earlier this month, President Joe Biden warned other players in the Middle East not to join the conflict and has sent American warships to the region and vowed full support for Israel.

Hezbollah legislator Hassan Fadlallah said Sunday that the group is ready for all possibilities adding, “we don’t want to reveal what the next step is.” He said Hezbollah’s next step “is tied to what is going on in Gaza.”

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French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna arrived in Beirut where she will meet officials to discuss border tensions.

Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said the country’s politically-paralyzed government has been scrambling to ease tensions along its southern border with Israel and avoid dragging the tiny country into a new war.

Earlier Monday, the Israeli military ordered people living in 28 communities near the Lebanese border to evacuate. The military order affects communities that are within 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) of the border.

Hezbollah has said the increased strikes were a warning and don’t mean the group has decided to go to war.

The World Health Organization said Monday it has sent two shipments of medical supplies to Beirut in preparation for potential escalation along the Lebanon-Israel border.

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