The Israeli army announced this Thursday that bombed positions of the powerful Lebanese Hezbollah movement in response to attacks carried out a few hours earlier by the Iranian-backed group.
“Warplanes and helicopters [israelíes] attacked targets of the terrorist organization Hezbollah in the last few hours in response to the shots fired today from Lebanese territory, along with attacks with artillery and tank fire,” the armed forces reported in a statement.
Hezbollah confirmed it bombed 19 Israeli positions along the border, on the eve of a speech by the leader of the Iran-backed Islamist group on the war between Israel and Hamas.
At 3:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. GMT), Hezbollah fighters “simultaneously attacked 19 Zionist military positions and points with guided missiles, artillery bombardments” and other weapons, the organization said in a statement.
The border between Israel and Lebanon has witnessed a escalation of tit-for-tat exchanges, mainly between the Israeli military and Hamas-allied Hezbollah since Palestinian militants launched a shock attack on Israel on October 7, stoking fears of a regional conflagration.
The National News Agency Lebanese official said four people were killed and others wounded in Israeli bombing of the border region, while Hezbollah announced the death of another of its fighters.
The deaths rose to 71 in Lebanon since the war between Israel and Hamas began, according to an account by the AFP, most of them Hezbollah fighters and other combatants, but also civilians, according to a journalist from Reuters.
On the Israeli side, nine people have died: eight soldiers and one civilian, says the army.
A barrage of rockets injured two people in the Israeli city of Kiryat Shmonanear the border, said Israel’s Magen David Adom emergency medical service.
The head of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, will speak on Friday for the first time since the war between Israel and Hamas broke out.
Israel has carried out relentless attacks in Gaza since Hamas militants attacked border communities and military posts on October 7.
The French Defense Minister, Sébastien Lecornu, He said Lebanon “does not need a war” with Israel, during a visit on Thursday to his country’s contingent in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
Such a warcould have significant escalation effects across the region“, he claimed.
Earlier Thursday, Hezbollah said it had shot down an Israeli drone with a surface-to-air missile, the second such claim in days.
Meanwhile, the Lebanese army recovered the bodies of two shepherds killed by Israeli fire, the ministry said. ANN.
UNIFIL said that on Wednesday “two projectiles fell and exploded 10 meters” from a peacekeeping position in the southern village of Beit Lif, “causing significant damage to a wall and minor damage to some UNIFIL vehicles.”
Israel says its goal in Gaza is destroy Hamas following the Oct. 7 attacks, the worst in the country’s 75-year history, and officials said militants They killed 1,400 people and kidnapped another 242.
Since then it has been bombing Gaza in an attack that, according to the Ministry of Health led by Hamas, It has killed more than 9,000 people.
(With information from AFP)