The escalation between Hezbollah and Israel continues
On Sunday, tension heightened along the Lebanon-Israel border as Hezbollah initiated attacks with explosive drones and potent missiles directed at Israeli positions. In response, Israeli air strikes impacted various towns and villages in southern Lebanon. The ongoing conflict between Israel and the Iran-backed Hezbollah, ignited two months ago during the Gaza war, represents their most severe hostilities since the 2006 conflict. Thus far, the clashes have primarily been confined to the border region.
A notable Israeli airstrike in Aitaroun resulted in the destruction of five homes and significant damage to others, according to local official Ali Hijazi. Remarkably, no fatalities occurred, but three women and two men sustained injuries. The Israeli army has not yet provided a response to inquiries.
Hezbollah’s Hassan Fadlallah characterized Israeli air strikes as a “new escalation,” prompting the group to retaliate with innovative attacks, whether in terms of weaponry or targeted locations. The Israeli military reported intercepting “suspicious aerial targets” from Lebanon, causing moderate injuries to two soldiers and light injuries to others. Israel retaliated with extensive airstrikes on Hezbollah targets within Lebanese territory, prompting sirens along the border.
In Beirut, residents observed what seemed to be two warplanes leaving vapor trails in the sky. Hezbollah’s statements asserted that their attacks aimed to support Palestinians in Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of turning Beirut “into Gaza” if Hezbollah instigated an all-out war.
UNIFIL, the U.N. peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, expressed concern about an escalating risk of miscalculation leading to a broader conflict. Hezbollah claimed several attacks on Sunday, including the launch of explosive drones near Ya’ara and firing Burkan (Volcano) missiles carrying hundreds of kilograms of explosives.
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Israeli airstrikes were also reported near the Lebanese village of Yaroun, close to another Israeli position targeted by Hezbollah. These strikes caused damage to homes, shops, and a school in the nearby village of Rmeich. The violence at the border has resulted in over 120 casualties in Lebanon, including 85 Hezbollah fighters and 16 civilians, while in Israel, seven soldiers and four civilians have lost their lives.