4 killed in Israeli strikes on Lebanon


Israeli spokesman Ilana Stein and Israel’s military said that today’s strikes came in response to cross-border rocket fire from Lebanon. (AP pic)

BEIRUT: A barrage of Israeli strikes on villages across southern Lebanon today killed four people and wounded nearly a dozen, two Lebanese security sources said, as Israel said it had responded to Hezbollah rocket fire with airstrikes and other bombardment.

A woman and her two children were killed in an Israeli strike on the village of al-Sawana, the sources said. Lebanon’s powerful armed group Hezbollah said a strike on a separate town killed one of its fighters.

Eleven people were wounded across the south and the level of damage was “vast”, the sources said.

Hezbollah and the Israeli military have been exchanging fire for more than four months after the Lebanese armed group launched rockets across the disputed frontier in support of its Palestinian ally Hamas, which had launched a deadly assault on Israel.

Hezbollah did not announce any operations today. The head of its executive council said that Israel’s attacks onto Lebanese territory today “cannot pass without a response”.

Ilana Stein, an Israeli government spokesman, told journalists today that “numerous launches” identified as coming from Lebanon this morning had left one Israeli woman dead and another eight hospitalised.

“As we have made clear time and time again, Israel is not interested in a war on two fronts. But if provoked, we will respond forcefully,” she said.

“The current reality, where tons of thousands of Israelis are displaced and cannot return to their homes, is unbearable. They must be able to return home and live in peace and security.”

Stein and Israel’s military said today that the military had responded to cross-border rocket fire from Lebanon.

The head of Israel’s military Herzi Halevi, who had been meeting the heads of local municipalities in northern Israel today, said that despite what he described as achievements against Hezbollah, this was “not the time to stop.”

Hezbollah head Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised address yesterday that his group would only stop its exchanges of fire if a full ceasefire was reached for Gaza.

“On that day, when the shooting stops in Gaza, we will stop the shooting in the south,” he said.

The cross-border shelling has already killed more than 200 people in Lebanon, including more than 170 Hezbollah fighters, as well as around a dozen Israeli troops and some Israeli civilians.

It has also displaced tens of thousands of people in the border areas of each country.

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