Hamas claims rocket fire on north Israel from south Lebanon

AFP , Wednesday 28 Feb 2024

The military wing of Palestinian group Hamas on Wednesday said it fired a volley of rockets towards northern Israel from south Lebanon, amid escalating exchanges at the Lebanon-Israel border in recent days.

Smoke rises in northern Israel following a rocket strike from southern Lebanon, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. AP


Hezbollah has exchanged near-daily fire with the Israeli army since the war erupted in Gaza in October, while Palestinian groups in Lebanon have also occasionally claimed attacks.

Hamas's armed wing the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades said in a statement it targeted two Israeli military sites with two barrages of "Grad rockets".

The attack from south Lebanon came in "response to Zionist massacres against civilians in the Gaza Strip and the assassination of martyred leaders and their brothers in the southern suburbs" of Beirut, the statement added.

The Israeli military said in a statement that "approximately 10 launches which crossed from Lebanon into northern Israel were identified", adding that sirens had sounded in north Israel's Kiryat Shmona area.

Air defenses "successfully intercepted a number of the launches," the statement said, adding that the army "struck the sources of the fire in Lebanon".

Israeli police reported property damage in the Kiryat Shmona area but no wounded.

A strike in January, which a United States defense official said was carried out by Israel, killed Hamas's deputy leader Saleh al-Aruri, and six militants in Hezbollah's south Beirut stronghold -- the most high-profile Hamas figure to be killed during the war.

This month, security sources told AFP a senior Hamas officer had survived an assassination attempt south of Beirut.

The cross-border exchanges have killed at least 284 people on the Lebanese side, most of them Hezbollah fighters but also including 44 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

At least 24 fighters from Palestinian groups including from 10 Hamas are also among the dead.

On the Israeli side, 10 soldiers and six civilians have been killed, according to the Israeli army.

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