Israel’s military and intelligence services believe the Lebanese militant organization Hezbollah may be linked to an explosion in northern Israel on Monday that seriously injured an Arab-Israeli civilian.
Following the explosion, next to a vehicle, roadblocks were erected in the area and a search for the suspect began.
Later in the day, a vehicle was stopped as part of a routine search near the Lebanese border; Israeli special forces shot and killed a passenger inside after he presented a ‘threat’.
A suicide belt, rifle and ammunition were found in the car. The owner of the car is questioned – their involvement is unclear.
Details were kept under wraps and an information blackout was imposed for several days during the investigation.
The embargo was lifted late Wednesday afternoon so that new speculation and erroneous rumors would not spread.
“The assumption was that he was going to carry out another attack,” the Israeli army said during a briefing to reporters.
“We believe he crossed the (Lebanese) border and was trying to come back. There are many unresolved details.”
The man’s identity is not known, but Israeli intelligence thinks he has ties to Lebanon and may have crossed the border over the weekend; he is not believed to be from the West Bank.
One working theory, not denied by the military, is that the bomb was similar to explosives used against Israeli forces in southern Lebanon many years ago.
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Hezbollah is an Iranian-backed militant group in southern Lebanon.
Although it has fought a number of wars against Israel, the border has been relatively quiet in recent years.
The Israeli army said life should go on as normal in the north and no special instructions were given to residents.