BEIRUT: Hezbollah fired a salvo of rockets onto northern Israel on Monday in response to the killing of four of its members in Israeli shelling on Lebanon, two security sources said.
The exchange of fire marks a significant expansion of the conflict to the Israeli-Lebanese border further north. Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel fought a brutal month-long war in 2006.
Hezbollah said in a statement on Monday it had fired rockets and mortars on two Israeli military posts in the Galilee. The Israeli military said it identified a number of “launches” from Lebanon into Israel, without any injuries. It said it was responding with artillery fire onto Lebanon.
Hezbollah said in consecutive online statements that at least four of its members had been killed in Israel’s shelling on southern Lebanon on Monday afternoon.
Israel shelled southern Lebanon after a cross-border raid claimed by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, which has been fighting alongside Hamas since it launched its surprise attack on Israel on Saturday.
The Israeli army said soldiers backed by helicopters killed at least two fighters who allegedly crossed the frontier. A Hezbollah official had earlier denied the group was involved in the cross-border strike.
Two sources, both close to Hezbollah, had said Israel’s deadly shelling of its observation post in southern Lebanon would draw a response from the group.
Hezbollah and Israel have traded sporadic fire over the border since 2006 while avoiding a major conflict. Some residents of southern Lebanon said they were leaving homes along the border with Israel amid heavy shelling
Published in Dawn, October 10th, 2023