Israeli military suspects Hezbollah was behind road blast that left one injured

Attacker was shot dead near border with Lebanon hours afterwards, say security forces

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short a trip to Berlin over an unspecified 'security incident'. AP
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An explosion in which one person was injured in northern Israel on Monday was probably the work of Lebanese political and militant group Hezbollah, say Israeli forces.

The attacker — who was armed with explosives — was shot dead near the border with Lebanon, hours after the blast, the military said on Wednesday.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier on Wednesday announced that he was cutting short a trip to Berlin as a result of what was labelled an unspecified “security incident”.

Israeli media reports surfaced about the incident two days after an explosion at the Megiddo junction, south of the Israeli city of Nazareth, and the closure of a road near the Lebanese border. These now appear to be linked.

The Israel Defense Forces said the device exploded at a 90-degree angle, which they said was unusual.

That led officials to suspect that the man infiltrated from Lebanon and may have been linked to Hezbollah.

The army said it did not release the details of the incident for two days because it was trying to determine the suspect’s identity, which it did not release.

Mr Netanyahu's Berlin trip was delayed amid speculation that a compromise over his government's controversial legal reforms is progressing.

The planned judicial overhaul has sparked mass protests across the country since the government came to power in December.

Israel and Hezbollah fought a month-long war in the summer of 2006.

Israel considers the Iran-backed Shiite group its most serious immediate threat, estimating that Hezbollah has some 150,000 rockets and missiles aimed at the country.

The border between Lebanon and Israel has remained quiet but tense since the 2006 war.

But Israel discovered four years ago what it said was a network of tunnels dug by Hezbollah along the border.

Israel frequently attacks targets in Syria, saying they are Iranian weapons deliveries intended for Hezbollah.

Updated: March 15, 2023, 5:58 PM