An Israeli soldier was shot dead and two Lebanese civilians were wounded during a suspected terrorist attack in Lebanon’s northern Bekaa Valley on Friday, the Israeli army said.
The attack was the second such incident in the past week and the third involving Hezbollah-linked militants in the Bekae area, which is part of the countrys southern border with Syria.
A Hezbollah official denied the group carried out the attack.
Hezbollah and Iran, two of Lebanon’s main rivals, are both members of the U.N. Security Council.
In the past few weeks, Hezbollah-affiliated militants have attacked several Israeli and Israeli-occupied territories in Lebanon, including the occupied Golan Heights, in retaliation for Israel’s military campaign in Syria.
In August, Hezbollah and its allies also attacked an Israeli military base in the Golan and killed three soldiers.
The Israeli military said in a statement on Friday that the attack took place at a checkpoint at a Lebanese border crossing, which it said was set up to protect the country from potential infiltration by Hezbollah militants.
The IDF did not specify what the targets were at the time of the attack, and the IDF said it was continuing to investigate the incident.
The Lebanese army said in August that the army had opened an investigation into the attack that killed three Israeli soldiers and wounded another, adding that the attackers were not affiliated with Hezbollah.
Hezbollah, which controls much of the Bekaouan region, was founded in 1982 in response to Israel’s invasion of Lebanon.
The group has long waged a campaign against Israel in the region and has been linked to terrorist attacks, including an attack in 2006 that killed 241 people in a southern Israeli town.
Lebanon’s foreign minister has urged the Lebanese government to help curb Hezbollah’s growing influence in the country.
“We have seen the rise of a number of terrorist groups that are operating from within the Lebanese political system, and they have an absolute monopoly on power in Lebanon,” Saad al-Hariri told The Associated Press in an interview published Friday.
“They have a monopoly on influence, and it’s the responsibility of the Lebanese leadership to stop them.”
Israel has a long-running border dispute with Lebanon, with the country’s borders crossing over the Israel-Lebanon border at the Eilat crossing.
Lebanon also has been a hotbed of violence between Israel and Iran since the 1980s, and has a substantial Shiite population.