Israel Lebanon border (Photo Credit/Aziz Taher)
Lebanese media have raised doubts about Israeli military claims regarding an explosion at the Megiddo junction which occurred in northern Israel earlier this week and shook the security establishment.
Israeli media reported that a bomb planted on the side of the Route 65 highway near the Megiddo Junction in northern Israel exploded on the morning of 13 March, seriously injuring an Israeli Arab man, Shareef al-Din.
The Israeli military claimed its forces stopped a car near the northern Israeli town of Yaara, close to the border with Lebanon, carrying a Lebanese man suspected of the attack, and that they opened fire and killed him. The man was allegedly wearing an explosive belt and had additional explosives in the car.
Israeli military officials further claimed the character of the improvised explosive device (IED) causing the explosion was not similar to those previously used by Palestinian resistance groups active in the occupied West Bank.
At first, the Israeli military suggested Lebanese Hezbollah was likely behind the attack, but later claimed that the bomber may have been a Palestinian from the refugee camps in southern Lebanon and affiliated with Hamas.
However, an article published by Al-Mayadeen on 17 March questions how a lone individual could infiltrate from southern Lebanon deep into Israel without being noticed, when the border fence has advanced sensors to detect movement as well as guards monitoring the fence.
Al-Mayadeen also questioned whether Israeli forces had really killed the suspect of the attack, noting that pictures were published of the Israeli army carrying out the search operation and investigation, but no picture of the alleged perpetrator was provided.
Additionally, some reports about the actions of the perpetrator after the explosion were contradictory. After the detonation of the device, some army reports claimed the perpetrator was killed by Israeli forces near the site of the explosion, while others suggest he took a taxi traveling north before he was identified and killed.
The article explains that it is unlikely the perpetrator was Lebanese, noting that a group called the Palestinian Galilee Forces/Lone Wolves claimed to be behind the attack.
Al-Mayadeen also doubted whether the type of explosive used was unique and unlike any available to Palestinian resistance fighters in the occupied West Bank.
Suggestions that the explosion was caused by a Russian-made IED weighing 15 kilograms are unlikely to be correct, as a bomb of this weight would cause a crater at least 5 meters deep. However, the photos published at the site of the explosion do not show such large craters.
Al-Akhbar newspaper also raised similar questions about the Israeli narrative concerning the attack, while speculating that “The enemy seeks to deny that resistance against it is increasing throughout Palestine, and it wants to deny that Arabs living within the borders of 1948 Palestine have any relationship to the armed resistance, and to suggest that Palestinians are unable to carry out such operations.