(Communicated by the IDF Spokesman)

This afternoon, January 17, 2005, the Hizbullah terrorist organization detonated an explosive device near an IDF armed bulldozer. At the time, the bulldozer was clearing explosive devices planted by Hizbullah in the Har Dov area, inside Israel. There were no casualties. On January 9, 2005, Captain Sharon Elmakayes was killed when Hizbullah detonated an explosive device.

On January 14, 2005, Hizbullah detonated an additional explosive device in the same area, in an attempt to target IDF forces. There were no casualties.

Following the attack this afternoon, Hizbullah claimed responsibility. The IAF then targeted two sites in southern Lebanon belonging to Hizbullah: one in the central region, near El-Kutser, and the second in the western region near Wadi Nafhah.

This is the third incident in the past week in which the Hizbullah, operating from Lebanese territory, backed by Syria and supported by Iran, has targeted Israeli objectives and disrupted the calm in northern Israel.

The IDF will continue to act with determination against any attempt to target Israelis and destabilize the region.