Photo Credit: Ofer Zidon / Flash 90
An IDF Merkava IV tank on the Golan Heights in May 2023.

Hezbollah claimed responsibility early Saturday morning for an attack late Friday night on a Mark IV Merkava tank at an IDF military outpost along the Lebanese border.

Footage of the attack released by Hezbollah showed the missile hitting the tank. However, the tank was not destroyed, Blumental reported, “due to the correct behavior of the soldiers at the base.” No casualties were reported.


According to a report by journalist Itay Blumental at Israel’s KAN 11 News public broadcaster, the missile used in the attack was a replica of the Israeli “Spike” munition that was apparently reverse engineered by Iran – but apparently it failed to penetrate the tank’s shell.

Israel’s SPIKE LR2 anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) is a state-of-the-art, multipurpose, multiplatform missile system produced by the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. It’s not clear how Iran could have acquired the missile.

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The Merkava Mark IV uses artificial intelligence with a “smart” mission computer to manage the tank’s tasks. Rafael, which also produces the Merkava Mark IV, says the defense platform installed on the tank is the TROPHY APS, which provides protection against rocket and missile threats and simultaneously locates the origin of the hostile fire for immediate response.

“TROPHY is the only fully-integrated, combat-proven APS in the world and has been installed on Israel Defense Forces’ Merkava tanks since 2010,” the company says.

Hezbollah claimed in its announcement that its fighters fired “a special guided missile” but did not name the munition.

“The attached camera is part of the control process of the missile, and can be used for monitoring as well, which Hezbollah used to monitor “Liman Bay” and “Shlomi” previously,” the terrorist-linked Resistance News Network reported.

“The missile uses television guidance (TGM), not laser, and it is capable of hitting invisible targets and securing coordinates that drones may not capture. While the casing is hollow, it carries an explosive warhead that can be modified like the famous Kornet missile.”

Lebanon’s Iranian proxy also claimed responsibility on Saturday evening for a Falaq missile attack on the IDF’s Khirbet Ma’ar military base and its artillery position, and said it had also “directly struck” an IDF outpost in the northern Israeli town of Manara, and fired Katyusha rockets at the town of Dishon.

No casualties were reported in either attack.

An anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) fired by Hezbollah in Lebanon struck the home of an IDF soldier in central Kiryat Shmona during the day on Saturday, but although the house was damaged, there were no physical injuries reported in the attack.

In addition, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for a rocket attack on an IDF base in Biranit earlier in the day. As with other attacks, the rockets landed in open areas with no injuries or damage reported.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.