Trade strikes between Israel and Hezbollah as fighting intensifies

On Tuesday, an Israeli strike targeted and killed Taleb Abdallah, one of Hezbollah's senior commanders, prompting the group to step up its attacks on Israel in retaliation. It fired more than 200 rockets at Israel on Wednesday, according to the Israeli military, but damage was minimal.

The Israeli military said on Thursday that its fighter jets struck “Hezbollah military facilities” in Lebanese border villages overnight.

Israeli officials have threatened stronger action against Hezbollah, and pressure to do so – from the political right and displaced civilians – is growing. But so far both sides have stopped well short of an actual war.

The United States, France and other mediators, warning of the danger of regional war, have sought to push forward a diplomatic deal between Israel and Hezbollah that could restore calm on both sides of the border. But analysts say the likelihood of a deal is low as long as Israel's campaign in Gaza persists.

On Thursday, residents of southern Gaza reported heavy shelling by the Israeli army.

Saeed Lulu, who was taking refuge in the southern Al-Mawasi region – parts of which Israel has designated a “humanitarian zone” for civilians – said he heard the attacks between midnight and 6am. The attacks, he said, appeared to target the southwestern border of Al-Mawasi.

“We are very worried,” said Mr. Lulu, 37. “This is supposed to be a safe area and we have nowhere else to go if they attack here.”

Wafa, the Palestinian Authority's official news agency, reported that Israel intensified rocket and artillery attacks on Al-Mawasi, where many Gazans have gone to seek refuge, heeding Israeli warnings to flee from nearby Rafah , where hundreds of thousands of people had sought refuge earlier in the war. war.

The Israeli army denied the Wafa report, saying it had not attacked the “humanitarian zone” of Al-Mawasi and was carrying out operations in Rafah, where its soldiers were engaged in “face-to-face meetings”. with Hamas militants.

Fighting in Rafah has raged on and off since early May, when Israeli soldiers began their advance into the heart of the city in what Israel called an essential step to defeat the remaining Hamas battalions and dismantle the group's infrastructure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *