Tuesday 17 September 2019

Israelis faked casualties in Hezbollah attack

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Reuters
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Reuters

Raf Sanchez

The Israeli military faked injuries to its soldiers to trick Hezbollah into believing it caused casualties during Sunday's round of fighting on the Lebanese border.

Minutes after Hezbollah militants fired anti-tank missiles at an Israeli base, the military staged a helicopter evacuation of "wounded" troops wrapped in bandages and covered in fake blood.

Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader, warned in a televised speech last night that the group would look to target Israeli drones that fly into Lebanese air space, in retaliation for Israel's drone attack on the Shia militia's stronghold in Beirut last weekend.

"We will no longer tolerate Israeli violation of Lebanon's airspace," he said.

"There is a new battlefield which is targeting Israeli drones in Lebanon's skies."

The Lebanese militant group released a statement claiming to have "killed and wounded" several Israeli soldiers.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu only revealed several hours later that there were, in fact, no Israeli casualties.

"Not even a scratch," he reported.

Israel's military censor temporarily blocked Israeli media from reporting that there were no injuries in order to sustain the illusion.

The stagecraft reflects a reality about the standoff between Hezbollah and Israel: neither side wants a full-blown war but both sides have to be seen to retaliate to the other's provocations.

Irish Independent

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