Hamas fires more than 20 rockets from Lebanon at northern Israel

No injuries in attack on Kiryat Shmona area; Hezbollah-linked paper says France drops call for terror group to retreat behind Litani River in new proposal to end fighting

File: Heavy missile rockets hit Kibbutz Hanita, northern Israel, on April 21, 2024. (Michael Giladi/Flash90)
File: Heavy missile rockets hit Kibbutz Hanita, northern Israel, on April 21, 2024. (Michael Giladi/Flash90)

The Lebanon branch of the Hamas terror group launched a barrage of dozens of rockets at northern Israel on Monday morning, as skirmishes on the border persisted amid the war in the Gaza Strip.

In a statement, the Gaza-based Hamas said it had launched a volley of rockets from Lebanon at an army base near the northern city of Kiryat Shmona.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, some 20 rockets had crossed the border in the attack. Most of the projectiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, while the others apparently struck open areas, it said.

Sirens sounded in Kiryat Shmona and nearby communities in the attack. No damage or injuries were reported.

The IDF said it had shelled the source of the fire with artillery.

Hamas’s Lebanon branch, which maintains a presence in Lebanon under Hezbollah protection, has claimed responsibility for several attacks on northern Israel amid the war.

Later Monday, another barrage of at least 15 rockets was launched at the Upper Galilee, setting off sirens in the communities of Arab al-Aramshe and Gornot Hagalil, the IDF said. No injuries or damage were reported.

Throughout Monday, the IDF said that its fighter jets struck Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon.

Sites hit overnight included infrastructure in Jabal Blat, and several buildings used by the terror group in Marwahin, according to the military. During the afternoon, the IDF said it hit rocket launching positions, a building used by the terror group, and other infrastructure in Rachaya al-Foukhar and Khiam.

The IDF said it also shelled areas near Ayta ash-Shab with artillery to “remove threats.”

Since October 8, Hezbollah-led forces have attacked Israeli communities and military posts along the border on a near-daily basis, with the group saying it is doing so to support Gaza amid the war there.

Israel has threatened to go to war to force Hezbollah away from the border if it does not retreat and continues to threaten northern communities, from where some 70,000 people were evacuated to avoid the fighting.

Hezbollah has maintained it will not enter any concrete discussions with Israel until there is a ceasefire in Gaza, where the war between Israel and Hamas has entered its seventh month.

On Monday, the Hezbollah-linked al-Akhbar newspaper reported that France had removed a provision calling on the terror group to withdraw behind the Litani River in its outline to end the fighting in the north.

Citing informed sources, the report said that the new proposal submitted by French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne on Sunday in Beirut called for a “repositioning” of Hezbollah’s forces, without specifying where.

The new proposal also included a ceasefire in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War, ensuring the return of residents on both sides living along the border, and the deployment of 15,000 Lebanese soldiers boosted with “adequate equipment” south of the Litani, the report said.

Then, negotiations would be launched on demarcating a border between Israel and Lebanon and forming a committee to oversee such arrangements.

This handout picture provided by the Lebanese photo agency Dalati and Nohra shows France’s Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne (L) meeting with Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, in Beirut, on April 28, 2024. (DALATI AND NOHRA / AFP)

Resolution 1701 demanded that Hezbollah withdraw its forces north of the Litani, a provision the Iranian proxy has ignored.

The ongoing skirmishes on the border have resulted in nine civilian deaths on the Israeli side, as well as the deaths of 11 IDF soldiers and reservists. There have also been several attacks from Syria, without any injuries.

Hezbollah has named 289 members who have been killed by Israel during the ongoing skirmishes, mostly in Lebanon but some also in Syria. In Lebanon, another 56 operatives from other terror groups, a Lebanese soldier, and at least 60 civilians, three of whom were journalists, have been killed.

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