IDF Spokesperson: On Wednesday, January 28, 2015, Hizbullah attacked an IDF force near Har Dov and fired 5 anti-tank missiles at IDF vehicles, killing an IDF officer and soldier: Captain Yochai Kalangel, 25, a company commander in the Tzabar battalion in the Givati brigade (posthumously promoted to the rank of Major), and Sergeant Dor Chaim Nini, 20, an infantry soldier (posthumously promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant).
In addition, seven IDF soldiers were injured, two of them moderately. The injured soldiers were evacuated to a hospital.
At approximately 11:30 AM (28 January) Hizbullah launched a cross-border attack from Lebanon on northern Israel. In the multi-pronged attack, an IDF vehicle travelling on the Israeli side of the border was hit by an anti-tank missile, killing two soldiers and injuring at least seven others. Mortars were also fired at northern Israel, hitting a military position on Mt. Hermon and setting on fire a home in Ghajar (a village which straddles the border).
Hizbullah is a Lebanese Islamist terrorist organization with close ties to Iran and the Assad regime in Syria. In its 30 year history of attacks, it has targeted Lebanese citizens and foreigners (up to 9/11, Hizbullah murdered more US nationals than any other terrorist organization), as well as Israelis and Jews around the world.
Prime Minister Netanyahu: "It is Iran that is responsible for yesterday’s attack against us from Lebanon. This is the same Iran that is now trying to achieve an agreement, via the major powers, that would leave it with the ability to develop nuclear weapons, and we strongly oppose this agreement. We will continue to defend ourselves against all threats, near and far alike."
Israel will not allow Iran and Hizbullah to establish terrorist infrastructures (directly or through proxies), including on the Israel-Syria border, nor will it allow attacks to be launched on Israel. Israel will protect its citizens and security forces.
The attack constituted a direct continuation to the missiles fired the previous day (27 January) from the Syrian border into Israeli territory, as well as Hizbullah’s attempts to develop and operate terrorist infrastructure in southern Lebanon and on the Israel-Syria border.
Hizbullah endangers the peace in Lebanon and the region. It is attempting to draw Israeli forces into hostilities that will undermine the fragile regional stability.
An escalation would likely bear high costs to all the actors in the area. Although these actors are not interested in an escalation to war, Hizbullah’s actions can induce such an outcome.
Israel views the government of Lebanon as responsible for all terrorist actions emanating from its territory against Israel.
Israel will not tolerate the establishment of terrorist infrastructures on the Syrian Golan under the sponsorship of Iran, the Syrian regime or Hizbullah, as well as the launching of terror attacks against its borders from this area. Israel also views the Assad regime as responsible for any violations of Israeli sovereignty from Syrian territory.
Israel will react strongly to any shooting from Lebanese or Syrian territory.
Israel appreciates the efforts made by the commander of UNIFIL to fulfill its mandate. At the same time, Israel asks UNIFIL to increase its activity in the area and to enforce its mandate in the field. Israel is committed to minimizing the dangers faced by UNIFIL forces.
Israel expresses its regrets on the death of the Spanish soldier who served in the UNIFIL force and was hit in the cross-fire today