At least 26 people have been killed in southern Lebanon since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, including 15 Hezbollah fighters, as well as civilians including a Reuters reporter.
Fresh exchanges of fire Saturday between the Israeli army and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters left dead and wounded on the Israel-Lebanon border, an area where tensions have risen since the war began on October 7.
In Lebanon, the Shiite movement Hezbollah, an ally of Hamas, announced that six of its fighters were killed in clashes. Islamic Jihad, an armed Palestinian group, said one of its members was killed.
Lebanon’s national news agency NNA reported last night that the Israeli Air Force had carried out raids near the border, mainly in Alma al-Shaab, Yarin and Daira, while speaking of “heavy shelling near Yaroun”.
For its part, the Israeli army announced that during Saturday a series of incidents occurred in northern Israel, such as the firing of an anti-tank rocket by Hezbollah fighters in the direction of the village of Baram, which resulted in the wounding of three Israeli soldiers, one of them seriously .
The military also said it hit a position from which Hezbollah would fire anti-tank rockets toward the border town of Shlomi.
Two Thais were wounded by shrapnel near the village of Margaliot.
Israel announced Friday the evacuation of Kiryat Shmona, a town on the border with Lebanon that has about 25,000 residents.
Hezbollah announced yesterday that it had targeted the Hanita sector with “guided missiles” as well as “al-Abad”, noting that it had destroyed “technical equipment” there. It added that it had bombed “the Rughaishat al-Alam position.”
Hezbollah’s second-in-command, Sheikh Naim Qassem, issued fresh warnings about the possibility of escalation: “Based on the facts, if there is an incident that requires enhanced intervention on our part, we will do so,” he said during the funeral of a member of the Shiite organization.
These new exchanges of fire occurred while Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galand was visiting Israeli soldiers stationed in the northern part of the country. “Hezbollah decided to take part in the fighting and is paying the price,” he said.
In a phone call Friday with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken expressed his “growing concern about the escalation of tension” on the border. He also “underscored continued American support” to Lebanon’s security forces, according to a State Department statement.
The international community is worried about the possibility of opening a second front in northern Israel, where there are daily exchanges of fire.
Following the October 7 attack by Hamas, the Israeli military is on high alert on the country’s northern border for a possible attack by Hezbollah.
At least 26 people have been killed in southern Lebanon since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, including 15 Hezbollah fighters, as well as civilians including a Reuters journalist, according to an AFP tally.
On the Israeli side, three soldiers and a civilian have been killed in an exchange of fire with Hezbollah, as the army has announced.
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