At least four Hizbullah fighters and one Israeli soldier were killed Monday afternoon in an intensive border clash. The two sides exchanged barrages of shells and rockets along the Lebanese - Israeli border, in the heaviest clash in years in the area. The flare up came on the eve of Lebanon's 62nd independence.
The exchange began when Hizbullah gunners fired a volley of shells and rockets at Israeli positions in the disputed border area of Chebaa Farms, witnesses said. Israeli forces retaliated with artillery fire against the apparent source of the fire. Israeli air force had also fired at Hizbullah targets in southern Lebanon and "several access routes in the area."
Israel claimed four Hizbullah members were killed in a shootout in the border village of Ghajar, which is under Israeli control. The four were said to try to infiltrate into Israel in an attempt to kidnap Israeli soldiers. This claim was denied by Hizbullah. At least 11 Israeli soldiers were reported wounded in the clash.
Al-Manar TV, Hizbullah's television network, aired a statement made by the movement according to which Monday's fighting broke out after an Israeli military jeeps crossed into Lebanese territory.
On Sunday, the Israeli Army said Hizbullah is planning widespread attacks in northern Israel.