Both Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba and Hezbollah are backed by Iran. They fought alongside Syrian government troops and other allied groups to oust IS from key cities in eastern Syria last year, including Albu Kamal.
Hezbollah, a powerful terror group considered to have more military clout than the Lebanese army itself, recently threatened to open fire on IDF soldiers building the barrier, Israel’s Hadashot TV news reported earlier this month.
Israel does not intend to halt the construction, Jerusalem said, and Hezbollah will “pay dearly” if it tries to inflame tensions. “Israel’s reaction will be strong and painful,” sources in Israel’s security establishment were quoted as saying.
Tensions also flared last week when Lebanon issued an offshore oil and gas exploration tender on the country’s maritime border, prompting a war of words with Israel which has laid claim to one of the fields in question.
On Friday, Lebanon signed its first contract to drill for oil and gas off its coast with a consortium comprising energy giants Total, ENI, and Novatek, including in a block disputed by Israel.