Lebanon's Hezbollah intensifies attacks on Israel

AFP , Friday 24 Nov 2023

The Lebanese Hezbollah group on Thursday intensified its attacks on Israel from southern Lebanon where Israeli bombardments killed seven of its fighters, including members of an elite unit.

Israel - Hezbollah clashes
Smoke billows from the site of an Israeli strike in Lebanon s southern village of Jibbayn near the border with northern Israel, on November, 2023. AFP


Since Israel's war in the Gaza Strip began on October 7, the border between Lebanon and Israel has witnessed escalating exchanges of fire, primarily involving Israel and the Hezbollah movement, along with Palestinian groups.

The clashes have raised fears of a broader conflagration.

Hezbollah said it carried out more than 20 attacks on Israeli military positions and caused casualties.

In one of the attacks, it said it fired 48 Katyusha rockets at a military base at Ein Zeitim, near the town of Safed in northern Israel, about 10 kilometres (six miles) from the border.

That attack marked the largest rocket salvo to be fired by the Lebanese group since violence broke out last month.

Hezbollah said it also used the heavy-duty Burkan missile in another attack against an Israeli border position.

The occupation Israeli army said that its helicopters and fighter jets had struck Hezbollah infrastructure, as well as rocket launch sites.

Lebanon's official National News Agency said the Israeli army had shelled several locations in southern Lebanon in response.

Hezbollah says it has been acting in support of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, where Israel has killed nearly 15,000 people, many of them women and children.

'Great victory'

Thursday's exchange of fire came as Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian met with Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

In a statement, Hezbollah said Amir-Abdollahian and Nasrallah "reviewed the latest developments in Palestine, Lebanon and the region, and... the efforts made to end the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip".

Amir-Abdollahian, who warned on Wednesday that the war could spiral out of control, left Beirut for Doha after their meeting, Iran's Nour news agency reported.

The violence between Israel and Hezbollah has claimed at least 109 lives in Lebanon, including at least 14 civilians, and three journalists, according to an AFP count.

Six Israeli soldiers and three civilians have been killed on the Israeli side, according to the authorities.

Hezbollah held funerals on Thursday for fighters killed in southern Lebanon, including the son of a member of parliament.

Abbas Raad, the son of Hezbollah MP Mohamed Raad, was killed with four others in an Israeli strike on a house in Beit Yahoun village on Wednesday evening, a source close to the family told AFP, requesting anonymity.

Two leaders of Hezbollah's elite Al-Radwan force were among the five killed, according to a source close to the group.

Two more fighters were subsequently announced dead by Hezbollah.

Israel and Hamas on Wednesday agreed to a four-day truce in the Gaza Strip and a captive and prisoner swap which is now expected to start on Friday.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online

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