Mannequin challenge: Israel 'using dummy soldiers to trick Hezbollah' at Lebanon border
Israel found itself the target of mockery in Lebanon on Thursday after a photo surfaced of what appeared to be an Israeli armoured vehicle manned by a dummy at the Lebanon-Israel border.
Ali Shoeib, a journalist who works for Hezbollah's Al-Manar TV, tweeted pictures of an Israeli armoured vehicle on the border between Israel and Lebanon.
The pictures showed that the vehicle was in fact manned by a dummy.
Shoeib said that the pictures showed the "stupidity and idiocy" of the Israeli army. Addressing Israelis, he said, “This scandal is enough to make senior heads in your army roll… because you haven’t learned yet that you are facing men of intelligence, professionalism, courage, and faith" in reference to Lebanese militants
“Pack up your dummies… even kids playing hide and seek don’t do this".
Tensions have heightened between Israel and Lebanon ever since a suspected Israeli drone attack on Sunday in south Beirut, which is a stronghold of Hezbollah.
Hezballah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel in a speech on Sunday that the group would retaliate for the Beirut strike on the Israel-Lebanon border.
“From tonight, I tell the Israeli army on the border: wait for our response, which may take place at any time on the border and beyond the border. Be prepared and wait for us”, he declared.
On Wednesday the Lebanese army fired at three Israeli drones which crossed the Israel-Lebanon border.
However, Lebanese media reported recently that Israeli troops have been wary of approaching the border in person for fear of being targeted by Hezbollah.
Lebanese journalists reported on Tuesday that a road on the Israeli side of the border had been evacuated by Israeli troops and that people on the Lebanese side felt that the situation was safe enough to have picnics near the border fence.
If verified, Shoeib's photographs are likely to cause some embarrassment to the Israeli army.
Israel and Hezbollah have fought several wars, the last of which was a 33-day conflict in 2006, which killed 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.
Iran-backed Hezbollah is considered a terrorist organisation by Israel and the United States, but it is a major political actor in Lebanon and a key backer of the regime of Bashar al-Assad in neighbouring Syria.