Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

Israel says it has reinforced its northern area with thousands of extra units after trading fire with Lebanon.

Its army shelled militant targets in Lebanon after two missiles were fired at an Israeli military post near the unofficial border.

Three people were injured in the shelling which hit several towns and villages, Lebanese state media said.

The Hezbollah movement said the missiles were a response to the killing of three of its fighters on Monday.

The exchange came as Israel bombed Gaza in retaliation for Palestinian militant group Hamas’ unprecedented attack.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said an anti-tank missile was fired from Lebanon towards an Israeli military post near the village of Arab al-Aramshe, which is just south of the UN-demarcated Blue Line – the unofficial border which separates Israel and Lebanon.

Hezbollah said it targeted the position “in a decisive retaliation to Zionist aggression on Monday”. It claimed that the missile caused several Israeli casualties.

The IDF said that as part of its response to the attack, aircraft attacked an observation post inside Lebanon belonging to Hezbollah. Artillery also shelled the missile launch site. It did not report any casualties among its troops.

Lebanon’s National News Agency reported that three civilians were wounded and 10 houses were damaged by Israeli fire in the town of Marwahin. The towns of Yarin, and Dharya were also hit, it said.

“We have deployed tens of thousands additional units along the northern border,” IDF spokesperson Jonathan Conricus said on Wednesday, referring to infantry, special forces, armoured forces, artillery, air forces and intelligence.

“The message to Hezbollah is very clear. If they will try to attack, we are ready and vigilant along our border,” he added.

Israel and the US have warned Iran-backed Hezbollah, Lebanon’s most powerful military force, against opening another battle front after Hamas militants from Gaza killed at least 1,200 people in an attack on southern Israel on Saturday. More than 1,000 people have been killed by Israel’s retaliatory air strikes on Gaza.

“Let me say again – to any country, any organization, anyone thinking of taking advantage of this situation, I have one word: Don’t. Don’t,” US President Joe Biden said in a statement on Tuesday – seemingly reinforcing the warning.

Tensions on Israel’s northern frontier have soared since Hamas’ bloody incursion.

Three Israeli soldiers were killed in a confrontation with gunmen from Palestinian Islamic Jihad who infiltrated Israeli territory from Lebanon on Monday. Two of the Palestinian militants were also killed in the incident.

The three Hezbollah militants were killed later on Monday, as Israeli forces attacked its positions in Lebanon in response to mortar fire.

On Tuesday, Hezbollah said its fighters fired an anti-tank guided missile at an Israeli military vehicle in the Avivim area.

The military said it caused no casualties and that a helicopter attacked one of the group’s observation posts in response.

Hamas also claimed that its fighters in Lebanon had fired rockets towards Israel’s western Galilee region.

The rockets were intercepted or fell in open areas, according to the Israeli military, which retaliated by shelling another two Hezbollah observation posts.

BBC

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