Hezbollah Bombs Northern Israel in Response to the Death of One of Its Fighters

Hezbollah announced on Thursday that it had bombed northern Israel in retaliation for the death of one of its fighters in an Israeli targeted strike on southern Lebanon. This escalation comes one day after a fiery speech by the group’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah.

On Wednesday evening, Nasrallah warned that “no place” in Israel would be spared from his group’s missiles if Israeli leaders carried out their threats to attack Lebanon. He also threatened Cyprus for the first time, claiming to “have information” that this European Union country, the closest to the Middle East coast, would open “airports and bases” to Israel if it were attacked.

In a statement, the pro-Iranian group announced on Thursday that it had launched “dozens of Katyusha rockets” at a military position in northern Israel. It specified that this was “in retaliation for the assassination carried out by the enemy in the village of Deir Kifa.” Hezbollah announced the death of one of its fighters in this village.

The Israeli army confirmed having “eliminated” a Hezbollah fighter in a “targeted strike,” adding that he was a local commander of the party. It also said it had targeted a Hezbollah surface-to-air missile launcher that “posed a threat to aircraft operating over Lebanon in the Rihane region.”

The devastating war in Gaza, which broke out after an unprecedented Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, has led to daily violence on the Israeli-Lebanese border between Hezbollah, an ally of the Palestinian Islamist movement, and the Israeli army.

On Tuesday, the army announced that “operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon” had been “validated,” as violence intensified. After Hezbollah leader’s threats against Cyprus, the Lebanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated on Thursday that “relations between Lebanon and Cyprus are based on a rich history of diplomatic cooperation.” Contacts and consultations continue between the two countries “at the highest levels,” according to the ministry’s statement.

More than eight months of violence between Hezbollah and the Israeli army in the border areas have resulted in at least 479 deaths in Lebanon, including a majority of Hezbollah fighters and 93 civilians, according to an AFP tally. On the Israeli side, at least 15 soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed, according to Israel.

About محمد الفاسي