Anti-tank missile attack injures 12 in north, sparking strikes on Hezbollah

Border area continues to heat up after hiatus for truce, with rockets fired from Lebanon and Syria drawing Israeli shelling

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Israeli soldiers near the scene where a missile launched from Lebanon hit a group of Israeli soldier and civilians in Moshav Beit Hillel, near the Israeli border with Lebanon, December 3, 2023. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)
Israeli soldiers near the scene where a missile launched from Lebanon hit a group of Israeli soldier and civilians in Moshav Beit Hillel, near the Israeli border with Lebanon, December 3, 2023. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)

IDF fighter jets struck several Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon Sunday, following a series of assaults by the terror group near the border, including an anti-tank guided missile attack that left 12 people wounded.

The return to fighting along Israel’s northern border came as the IDF pressed its offensive in the Gaza Strip aimed at toppling the Hamas terror group, after a week-long truce ended Friday.

Though not party to the agreement, Hezbollah and other Iran-backed groups had halted near-daily skirmishes on the northern border as well as attacks on US troops stationed in Iraq and Syria.

Sunday saw a series of attacks along the border attributed to Hezbollah, which resumed attacking Israel Friday.

The Ziv Medical Center in Safed said that 12 people — 11 men and one woman between the ages of 20 and 65 — were wounded when an anti-tank missile hit the town of Beit Hillel, some 3.5 kilometers (2.1 miles) from the border. They were admitted with light injuries as a result of shrapnel and the missile’s blast.

The IDF said four soldiers were injured in the attack, and it was not clear if the other victims were soldiers or civilians.

It did not offer details about what sites were struck in the reprisal attacks.

The IDF said several rockets were also fired at the Mount Dov area on the border, though some fell short in Lebanon, and an anti-tank guided missile was fired from Lebanon at an open area near the northern community of Yiftah.

Rockets fired from Lebanon also set off sirens in the northern community of Zar’it.

There were no reports of injuries or damage in those attacks, and the IDF said it responded by shelling the sources of fire with artillery.

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Also Sunday, a rocket fired from Syria landed in an open area in northern Israel, the army said. There were no injuries reported, and sirens were not set off. The IDF responded by shelling the source of fire with artillery, it said.

Smoke rises during an exchange of fire between the IDF and Hezbollah on the border between Israel and Lebanon, December 3, 2023. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)

Israel’s northern border with Lebanon has heated up significantly since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, with Hezbollah seeking to tie down troops with a steady stream of low-level clashes and attacks.

Since the cross-border exchanges began, 107 people have been killed on the Lebanese side, according to an AFP tally. The toll also includes at least 14 civilians, three of them journalists.

Hezbollah has said that 79 of its members have been killed since the war’s outbreak in southern Lebanon.

On the Israeli side, six soldiers and three civilians have been killed.

Israel launched its war on Hamas in Gaza after thousands of terrorists infiltrated into southern Israel on October 7, massacring some 1,200 people in Israel, mostly civilians, and taking some 240 hostages. Daily exchanges of fire and attacks, with Hezbollah, Hamas and other terror groups have raised fears of a broader conflagration.

The Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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