Israel Confirms: Gunmen Carried Out Shooting Attack in North Came From Lebanon
The Israeli army said Thursday that two gunmen who carried out the shooting attack Tuesday near the Lebanon border had infiltrated into Israel a day or two before.
Six Israelis were killed when the two men opened fire on and threw grenades at vehicles driving on the road close to the border.
According to the Israeli investigations, the two jumped over the electric border fence during darkness, in a place that would be hard for Israeli troops to spot. They approached Kibbtuz Metzuba from the south, and most likely slept close to the scene of the attack.
According to the Tel Aviv-based Haaretz daily, Israeli scouts followed the attackers' trail to the place where they crossed the internationally-recognized border, and an Israeli unit passed over the border from Israel, where they picked up the ladder which had been hidden 150 meters north of the border.
The soldiers also found tracks for another six to eight people, who they believe transported the gunmen to their crossing-place and then concealed the ladder.
The Israeli army was initially unsure about who had carried out the attack. The border fence with Lebanon appeared to have been intact and the Arab gunmen who were killed by Israeli soldiers had not been identified. Shortly after that attack Fatah’s al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack and said the gunmen came from Lebanon.
Meanwhile, Lebanon’s Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah told the BBC in an interview Wednesday that his group had nothing to do with the attack. But he did not rule out expanding Hizbullah attacks into Israel proper, telling the BBC that "it could benefit the Palestinian revolt."
The gunmen were dressed in Israeli military uniforms and, according to israeli security sources, had planned the attack meticulously, hiding among foliage on a strategic hill from where they fired at cars.
The gunmen were equipped with high-quality weapons, Israeli security sources said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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