Lebanon border calm as Gaza truce takes effect

AFP , Friday 24 Nov 2023

Calm returned to Lebanon's southern border Friday as a temporary truce took effect in Israel's war on the Gaza Strip, according to state media, residents and an AFP journalist.

Lebanon - Israel
Smoke billows from an area targeted in a rocket strike by Lebanese Shia Hezbollah militants on November 23, 2023. AFP


Since Israel's Gaza war erupted on October 7, Lebanon's southern border with Israel has witnessed deadly exchanges of fire, primarily involving the Israeli army and Lebanon's Hezbollah movement, as well as Palestinian resistance groups.

Hezbollah has yet to say whether it will comply with the terms of the agreement that was brokered by Qatar, Egypt, and the United States.

"A precarious calm reigned on the southern border, with the humanitarian truce in Gaza coming into effect at 7:00 in the morning (0500 GMT)," Lebanon's official National News Agency reported.

The four-day truce in the Gaza Strip will see Hamas exchange 50 captives seized from Israel during the October 7 operation for 150 Palestinian detainees held in Israeli jails.

An AFP journalist in the Marjayoun border region said he had heard exchanges of fire 10 minutes prior to the truce, before the guns fell silent.

A resident in the Alma al-Shaab border region also said the situation was calm and that he could no longer hear Israeli planes or reconnaissance drones flying overhead.

On the eve of the truce, Hezbollah had intensified its cross-border attacks on the Israeli army, while Israeli forces pounded southern Lebanon.

On Friday, the powerful Iran-backed Shia group claimed responsibility for 22 attacks on Israeli positions from southern Lebanon, where it lost seven of its fighters during the day.

Hezbollah says it has been acting in support of the Palestinians, where its air and ground invasion has killed nearly 15,000 people in the Palestinian territory, the majority of them women and children.

The cross-border clashes between Israel and Hezbollah have claimed 109 lives in Lebanon, at least 77 of them Hezbollah fighters and 14 civilians, according to an AFP count.

Among those killed were three journalists, the son of the head of Hezbollah's parliamentary bloc and an official from Hamas's military wing in Lebanon.

On the Israeli side, six soldiers and three civilians have been killed, according to the Israeli authorities.

Short link: