Lebanese Hezbollah says it launched rockets into northern Israel

Lebanese Hezbollah says it launched rockets into northern Israel
Lebanese Hezbollah says it launched rockets into northern Israel

Lebanon’s Hezbollah said it launched several salvos of rockets at northern Israel on Friday night, a day after a sudden escalation of cross-border violence that raised fears of a new conflict in the region.

The pro-Iranian Hezbollah, in support of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, opened a front with its Israeli neighbor on October 8. Since then, the daily exchanges of fire in the border areas have sometimes gained in intensity, against a backdrop of bellicose rhetoric, raising fears of a regional escalation.

In separate statements, Hezbollah announced on Friday that it had launched “salvos of Katyusha-type rockets” on the agricultural village of Margaliot and two border military positions, in retaliation “for the enemy’s attacks on villages and homes in the south.”

The Israeli army said in a statement that two of its soldiers were lightly injured “by projectiles fired towards the border town of Kiryat Shmona,” adding that they were taken to hospital.

It said it struck “the source of the launches” in response and fired artillery at several regions in southern Lebanon.

The official Lebanese news agency ANI reported “the firing of phosphorus shells from enemy Israeli positions with the aim of starting forest fires” in the Nabatieh region in the south of the country.

In the evening, ANI reported four minor injuries near Bint Jbeil, including two firefighters targeted by Israeli warplanes while they were “putting out a fire.”

On Friday, the UN again expressed concern about a possible extension of the war in Gaza to Lebanon, saying it was “deeply concerned by the increase in the intensity of the exchanges of fire” the day before, “which increases the risk of a full-scale war.”

Following the assassination by Israel of one of its main commanders on Wednesday, Hezbollah announced that it had launched more than 300 rockets on targets in northern Israel, as well as a squadron of explosive drones against a dozen military positions, in less than 24 hours.

The border violence has left at least 496 people dead in Lebanon, including around 95 civilians and 326 Hezbollah fighters, according to an AFP tally.

On the Israeli side, at least 16 soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed, according to authorities. In both countries, tens of thousands of residents have been displaced by the violence on both sides of the border.

A Hamas delegation met in Lebanon on Friday with the leader of the Lebanese Islamist movement, Hassan Nasrallah, to discuss the situation on the ground and upcoming negotiations regarding a ceasefire in Gaza.

Hezbollah has repeatedly said it will only stop its attacks if there is a ceasefire in Gaza.

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