Israel says responsible for roadside bomb 'will pay dearly'


Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant visited Thursday the Lebanese border, after Israel said an armed man suspected of blowing up a car may have come from Lebanon.

Gallant threatened that "whoever decided to test Israel" by perpetrating the roadside bombing in the country's northern region "will pay dearly."

But Israeli newspaper Haaretz claimed that "Israel prefers to contain the incident rather than let the situation in the north escalate."

"However, it may yet respond in a limited fashion," the daily added.

Gallant said that the attack was complicated but that Israel will find the truth.

The Israeli army had said Wednesday that soldiers killed an armed man suspected of entering the country from Lebanon and blowing up a car, raising the risk of renewed tensions with Hezbollah.

The security situation in Israel prompted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cut in half his planned two-day visit to Germany this week, his office said.

The army said soldiers stopped a car carrying the bombing suspect at a checkpoint Monday shortly after a roadside explosion seriously injured a driver near Megiddo Junction in the country’s north. The suspect was wearing a suicide vest and had a rifle and a gun when he was stopped near the border with Lebanon. The army said it shot and killed the man and is questioning the driver.

The army said the device exploded at a 90-degree angle, which is unusual for the area. That led officials to suspect that the man infiltrated from Lebanon and may have been linked to Lebanon's 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.

Meanwhile, the U.N. peacekeeping force in Lebanon said in a statement it had not observed any border crossings in recent days, calling on both parties to show restraint.

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