Commentary: Infiltrators from Lebanon travel around in Israel for almost an entire day. Will they be used for terrorist attacks? 

Two infiltrators entered Israel from Lebanon and stayed for almost a day without the military knowing where they were. The next time it happens, it could end in a terrorist attack or espionage. It appears that Hezbollah found a legitimate way to test the IDF's blind spots on the border 

One of the infiltrators who was captured. Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit

Infiltration by migrants seeking work from Lebanon is not a new issue. In recent years, there were a number of times in which infiltrators were caught on the Lebanese border. On almost all of those occasions, the infiltrators were returned to Lebanese territory via Rosh HaNikra. But during the last day there has been a change on this issue. The infiltrators succeeded in staying in Israel for about a day.     

"IDF forces arrested the two suspects who crossed into Israeli territory from Lebanese territory last night after an extensive manhunt by IDF and Israel Police forces that included roadblocks and sweeps of the area. IDF troops arrested a short time ago the two suspects who crossed last night from Lebanese territory into Israeli territory. The suspects were arrested in a densely-covered area close to the (border) fence and were handed over to the security forces for an investigation," a statement by the IDF said.  

The incident raises the question of whether these are independent initiatives or organized activities by Hezbollah. A person could claim that the seemingly random pattern of migrants seeking work infiltrating into Israel could be exploited by Hezbollah to develop military tactics.   

Assuming that Hezbollah controls the border with Israel, it is familiar with every such incident and monitors it, learns where the IDF has blind spots on the border, how the IDF responds to infiltration, and more. It will need those details if it wants to send a squad or individuals into Israel to carry out a terrorist attack, engage in espionage or plant explosive devices. 

Furthermore, the fact that infiltrators can enter Israel from Lebanon without being stopped, and succeed in hiding from the security forces for almost an entire day, raises conjecture over the existence of sleeper cells in the short term.  

That is to say, a person in Israel could be in contact with Hezbollah, wait for the "infiltrator seeking work" at a predetermined location, pick him up, and give him temporary shelter until he carries out the terrorist attack or plants the explosive device at a certain place. And if it involves an explosive device and not a terrorist attack, it could be a device that can be operated by a satellite or cellular communication.     

The infiltrator could plant the device and then reveal himself intentionally to IDF forces, after which the Israeli contact (who is unknown to the IDF) could activate the device on an instruction from Lebanon via cellular communication. If a satellite telephone is involved, the device could be activated from Lebanon.   

There is no doubt that the infiltrators from Lebanon are a security threat regardless of whether their infiltration is aimed at looking for work. It also doesn't matter whether they are Turkish, Sudanese or any other nationality. The fact that a person can succeed in infiltrating from Lebanon, one of the most closely-guarded borders in Israel, and travel around for almost an entire day needs to be thoroughly investigated.   

The aim of the investigation must be to determine whether these are random incidents or a new form of terror that will be used against us by Hezbollah in the future. 

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