Israel arrests `Hezbollah cell` in West Bank: Army

Israeli forces have arrested a cell allegedly linked to the Lebanese Hezbollah movement which was planning an attack inside Israel, the army announced on Wednesday.

Tel Aviv: Israeli forces have arrested a cell allegedly linked to the Lebanese Hezbollah movement which was planning an attack inside Israel, the army announced on Wednesday.

Forces "apprehended a terror cell funded and guided by Hezbollah," an army statement said, adding the cell was "plotting a shooting attack".

It said the cell was based in Tulkarm in the occupied West Bank and was made up of Palestinians.

However it "received instructions and guidance regarding executing terror attacks... from an additional Hezbollah operative".

The leader of the seven-person cell was recruited online by Jawad Nasrallah, the son of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, the army said.

It did not provide the dates of the arrests, saying only that the investigation had been concluded recently.

On Monday, Israel`s military chief of staff, in a rare public speech, said that Hezbollah was his country`s biggest threat.

Gadi Eizenkot said the Iranian-backed movement would be strengthened by the nuclear deal with Tehran. More money would be channelled to Hezbollah with sanctions lifted and as Iran`s economy grows, Eizenkot said.

Hezbollah and Israel scuffle intermittently in the disputed border area between Lebanon and the Jewish state, and the powerful Shiite Muslim group has in the past targeted army patrols in response to strikes against its members.

The most recent attack occurred on January 4, when an attack targeting an Israeli border patrol caused limited damage. No Israelis were injured.

In 2006, Israel fought a war against Hezbollah that killed more than 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and some 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

 

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