Hezbollah shells northern communities after deadly IDF drone strike in south Lebanon

15 rockets launched at Western Galilee after Israeli airstrike kills terror operative in Naqoura; separate barrage on Kiryat Shmona lightly injures man

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

This picture taken from northern Israel shows smoke billowing during Israeli strikes in southern Lebanon on May 25, 2024. (Jalaa MAREY / AFP)
This picture taken from northern Israel shows smoke billowing during Israeli strikes in southern Lebanon on May 25, 2024. (Jalaa MAREY / AFP)

A Hezbollah operative was killed in an Israeli drone strike on a motorcycle in southern Lebanon on Sunday morning, Lebanese media and the Israel Defense Forces said.

According to the IDF, the target of the strike in the coastal town of Naqoura was a member of the terror group.

The IDF said the operative was identified leaving a building previously known to be used by Hezbollah. A short while later he was targeted and killed.

A separate strike targeted two more Hezbollah operatives in southern Lebanon’s Ayta ash-Shab, the military added.

In response to the strike, Hezbollah launched two barrages of rockets at the Western Galilee in northern Israel, just across from the Naqoura area.

According to the IDF, a total of 15 rockets crossed the border in the attack. No injuries were reported. Sirens had sounded in the border communities of Betzet, Hanita, Rosh Hanikra and Shlomi.

Hezbollah claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it had shelled an Israeli military base and soldiers stationed in the area, “in response to the assassination carried out by the Zionist enemy in the town of Naqoura and the injury of civilians.”

Hours later, an anti-tank guided missile launched from Lebanon struck a home in the northern community of Avivim, local authorities said.

The Marom Hagalil Regional Council said a man was rescued from the damaged house by Avivim’s local security team.

In another attack on Sunday, more than 10 rockets were launched by Hezbollah from Lebanon at the northern city of Kiryat Shmona. One rocket strike lightly wounded a man in his 40s, medics said.

It was the latest round in a simmering border conflict that threatens to boil over into a full-scale war.

The exchange of fire on Sunday came hours after the military announced that it had carried out a wave of airstrikes against Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon overnight.

The IDF said buildings used by the terror group and other infrastructure were struck in Khiam and Ayta ash-Shab, and that it shelled several other locations in south Lebanon with artillery.

On Saturday, several buildings used by Hezbollah were struck in the southern Lebanon towns of Odaisseh, Yaroun, and Marwahin, the IDF said.

Also Saturday, several Hezbollah operatives were targeted in an airstrike in southern Lebanon’s Aitaroun.

The IDF said the operatives were spotted at a building used by the terror group.

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.

So far, the skirmishes on the border have resulted in 10 civilian deaths on the Israeli side, as well as the deaths of 14 IDF soldiers and reservists. There have also been several attacks from Syria, without any injuries.

Hezbollah has named 321 members who have been killed by Israel during the ongoing skirmishes, mostly in Lebanon but some also in Syria. In Lebanon, another 61 operatives from other terror groups, a Lebanese soldier, and dozens of civilians have been killed.

The violence has raised fears of all-out conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, which last went to war in 2006.

Most Popular
read more: