South Lebanon | At least three dead in new Israeli raids

(Jerusalem) Three civilians were killed Wednesday evening in a new Israeli strike on an apartment building in the town of Nabatiyeh, in southern Lebanon, a Lebanese security source announced.

“Three civilians died in the Israeli strike, including two women,” this source, who did not want to be identified, told AFP. During the day, a rocket attack on northern Israel from Lebanon then retaliatory Israeli raids in the south of the country left five people dead.

The day before, the Israeli army had announced that combat planes had carried out “a series of raids on neighboring Lebanon” on Wednesday, which left at least four dead according to a Lebanese media, after a rocket attack in which a soldier was killed. been killed.

This violence raises fears of an escalation after months of daily exchanges of fire on the border between Israel and the Lebanese Islamist movement Hezbollah in the context of the war in the Gaza Strip.

The army announced that it had targeted “Hezbollah terrorist targets” in several localities in southern Lebanon, killing four people, three civilians who were members of the same family and a fighter from the Islamist movement, according to the National News Agency (ANI). , official).

These raids, which targeted localities located within a radius of ten to 25 km from the border, were carried out in retaliation for a rocket attack from Lebanon on a military base in northern Israel, which killed a female soldier. according to the Israeli army.

Sergeant Omer Sarah Benjo, 20, was killed “by (rocket) fire from Lebanese territory on a base in northern Israel,” the army said.

An initial report from the Israeli emergency services Magen David Adom reported seven people injured, including five in the town of Safed.

An AFP photographer saw doctors and soldiers evacuating an injured person from Safed hospital by military helicopter to another establishment.

This rocket attack was not claimed by the pro-Iranian Hezbollah.

A Lebanese security source initially told AFP that the raids had killed four civilians and injured nine people in two different villages.

According to ANI, a woman, her two-year-old son, and her 13-year-old stepson were killed in the village of Sawaneh.

Another raid completely destroyed a building in the village of Adchit, leaving one dead, a Hezbollah fighter, and ten injured, according to ANI which reported significant destruction in this locality.

Hezbollah later confirmed the death of one of its fighters in this village.

“Very strong offensive”

Since the day after the bloody Hamas attack in Israel on October 7, which sparked the war in the Gaza Strip, Hezbollah has targeted Israeli military positions on the border, in support of the Palestinian Islamist movement.

Israel, for its part, regularly bombs southern Lebanon and carries out targeted attacks against leaders of the Lebanese Islamist movement.

Israeli army chief of staff Herzi Halevi, visiting the north of the country, said Wednesday that “the next campaign will be a very strong offensive,” according to an army statement.

For his part, a senior Hezbollah official, Hachem Safieddine, warned that “this aggression (…) will not go unanswered”.

Violence between the Israeli army and Hezbollah has caused the displacement of tens of thousands of people on both sides of the border.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Tuesday that “when the aggression in Gaza stops and there is a ceasefire, the shooting will also stop in the south” of Lebanon.

“If they expand the confrontation, we will too,” he added, in response to repeated threats from Israeli officials to start a war against its neighbor.

In more than four months, at least 248 people, mostly fighters from Hezbollah and other allied groups, but also 33 civilians, have been killed in southern Lebanon, according to an AFP count. On the Israeli side, 16 people were killed, ten soldiers and six civilians, according to the army.


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