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Northern Exposure

IDF soldiers on Golan Heights (Photo: flickr/IDF)

While violence on the Israeli-Gaza border to the south has taken up many headlines as of late, what with riots and protests going on there on a weekly basis, tensions are growing on Israel's northern border, as well. The Jerusalem Post's Linda Gradstein reports on the front lines of Israel's northern border, where Hezbollah beckons:

BEZALEL LEV-TOV, a longtime member of Kibbutz Misgav Am, which sits on the border between Israel and Lebanon, looks northward over the green hills of south Lebanon.

“See that black car over there,” he says.

“That’s a Hezbollah car. We see them all the time.”

Misgav Am is the site of one of the most famous terrorist attacks in Israeli history.

In 1980, a group of five Palestinian gunmen belonging to the Arab Liberation Front backed by Iraq, snuck into the kibbutz from south Lebanon. At that time, children slept in a special “children’s house,” and the gunmen took the toddlers hostage until Israeli special forces stormed the area the next day.

A kibbutz member, as well as a toddler and an Israeli soldier, were killed in the attack, along with the five gunmen.

Yet Lev-Tov insists he is not afraid of a Hezbollah attack on his kibbutz of 350 members, and has turned the bomb shelter in his home into an art studio.

“I’m much more afraid of my second exwife,” he says, tossing his gray ponytail and laughing.

Despite Lev-Tov’s easy confidence, after an alleged Israeli strike on the T-4 base in Syria that killed seven Iranian military officials, and as Lebanon prepares for its first parliamentary elections in 19 years, tensions are growing between Israel and Hezbollah.

Iran, which is Hezbollah’s patron, has vowed to retaliate for the Israeli attack, and Israel has sent reinforcements of soldiers to both the Syrian and Lebanese borders. Analysts say that it does not seem that either Israel or Hezbollah are interested in a war, but tensions or mistakes could spark a new conflict between the two sides. They say that Iran could choose to retaliate against Israel using Hezbollah, which functions as an Iranian proxy...

Tags: Hezbollah , Israel

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