Israel on high alert near Lebanese border
Israel has intensified patrols near the Lebanese border over the weekend in anticipation for a possible attack by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, as the end of the mourning period of its assassinated military commander Imad Mughaniyeh approached, a Lebanese security source said Sunday.
Hezbollah has blamed Israel for the Feb 12 car bombing that killed Imad Mughaniyeh, a Hezbollah leader suspected of masterminding a series of terrorist attacks against US and Jewish targets in and outside Lebanon. The Israeli government has so far denied the charge.
Mughaniyeh was killed in a car bomb blast in Damascus.
Immediately after Mughaniyeh's killing, Israel put its military and embassies on alert, and advised Jewish institutions worldwide to do the same, fearing a large-scale revenge attack would be carried by the group to avenge the assassination of Mughaniyeh.
Usually in Muslim traditions, there is a 40-day mourning period.
According to the source, Israeli patrols near the Lebanese borders were intensified Sunday and soldiers were seen sitting behind bunkers on high alert.
Mughaniyeh was one of the world's most wanted men. He was linked to a series of attacks that killed hundreds of Americans, including 241 US Marines in Lebanon, and the kidnappings of Westerners in the 1980s.
His attacks were believed to have extended into the 1990s, with the bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Argentina, a Jewish centre in Buenos Aires and an attack on foreign military housing in Saudi Arabia. Dozens were killed in those attacks.
Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah vowed at Mughaniyeh's funeral last month to retaliate against Israeli targets anywhere in the world.