Hezbollah continues attacks on north, prompting IDF strikes in Lebanon

Military responds after northern community shelled, rockets target army posts; sirens in north activated after helicopter shoots down faulty Israeli drone

A picture taken in the outskirts of the town of Tair Harfa in southern Lebanon shows smoke rising after an Israeli strike on December 2, 2023. (Photo by AFP)
A picture taken in the outskirts of the town of Tair Harfa in southern Lebanon shows smoke rising after an Israeli strike on December 2, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces struck Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon in response to attacks on northern Israel Saturday, a day after the seven-day ceasefire between Israel and Hamas lapsed.

Though Hezbollah was not party to the truce, it halted its attacks during the past week leading Israel to also stop its military actions, but once again began assaulting Israel’s north after the Gaza pause collapsed.

Earlier in the day, two mortars were fired from Lebanon at the northern community of Shomera. Both projectiles landed in open areas, causing no injuries.

During the afternoon, several rockets were also fired at army posts along the border, the military said.

In both instances, the IDF said it shelled the source of fire with artillery. The military also said it carried out airstrikes against terror infrastructure in southern Lebanon.

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the attacks throughout the day. On Friday, the terror group also launched attacks on the north as the war in Gaza restarted.

The military said sirens sounded in the Galilee in the evening. They were activated due to a combat helicopter downing a military drone that was identified as having a technical malfunction.

According to the IDF, the “interception was carried out in a controlled manner and there is no fear of a security incident.”

“The rocket and missile warning was activated due to the interception” amid fears of falling shrapnel, the IDF said.

Last month a similar incident occurred over the Galilee, with the IDF shooting down one of its own UAVs that had a technical issue.

Since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, when thousands of terrorists massacred some 1,200 people in Israel, mostly civilians, and took some 240 hostages, Israel’s northern front on the border with Lebanon has heated up. Daily exchanges of fire and attacks, with Hezbollah, Hamas and other terror groups, are raising fears of a broader conflagration.

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.

Also on Saturday, a war monitor claimed that airstrikes attributed to Israel in Syria overnight killed two fighters affiliated with Hezbollah and wounded seven others.

“Two Syrian fighters working for Hezbollah were killed and seven other fighters working for the group were wounded in Israeli air strikes on Hezbollah sites near Sayyida Zeinab,” said Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor.

There was no independent confirmation.

SOHR, run by a single person, has regularly been accused by Syrian war analysts of false reporting and inflating casualty numbers.

While Israel’s military does not, as a rule, comment on specific strikes in Syria, it has admitted to conducting hundreds of sorties against Iran-backed terror groups attempting to gain a foothold in the country over the last decade.

The Israeli military says it attacks arms shipments believed to be bound for those groups, chief among them Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Additionally, airstrikes attributed to Israel have repeatedly targeted Syrian air defense systems.

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