IDF jets hit south Lebanon; video seems to show strike near Hezbollah funeral

Rocket, drone warning sirens sound in northern towns, army responds to sources of fire; IAF says it’s identified and thwarted over 100 aerial threats since October 7

A picture taken from the outskirts of south Lebanon's village of Aitaroun shows smoke billowing after a raid carried out by Israeli warplanes on December 17, 2023. (Photo by AFP)
A picture taken from the outskirts of south Lebanon's village of Aitaroun shows smoke billowing after a raid carried out by Israeli warplanes on December 17, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli warplanes carried out strikes against several Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon on Monday in response to attacks on the border, as rocket and drone warning sirens sounded across northern Israeli towns.

The Israel Defense Forces said the targets of its strikes included rocket launchers, a military building and other Hezbollah infrastructure, adding that troops had identified and struck several operatives in an area known for its use by the Iranian-backed terror group to carry out attacks.

Several projectiles were fired from Lebanon at northern Israel on Monday, triggering sirens in Shlomi, Metzuba, Ya’ara and Amuka. Drone infiltration alarms sounded in Malkia, Mevo’ot Hermon Regional Council, Ramot Naftali and Dishon.

The IDF said it was shelling the launch sites with artillery.

In one incident, the IDF said it intercepted a “suspicious aerial target” that entered Israeli airspace from Lebanon, setting off alarms in several towns. The interceptor missile fired at the target set off rocket sirens in the community of Amuka, close to Safed.

Hezbollah has carried out several attacks on northern Israel using explosive-laden drones from Lebanon, and at least one from Syria, though there have also been numerous false alarms.

There were no reports of injuries in the latest attacks from Hezbollah.

Also Monday, an undated video circulating on social media appeared to show an IDF airstrike on southern Lebanon near a funeral service being held for a slain Hezbollah member.

There was no immediate comment from the IDF on the alleged strike.

Hezbollah responded to the incident by threatening that any Israeli attacks on civilians “will be reciprocated.”

It said it launched a “salvo of rockets” at the Israeli border town of Kiryat Shmona “in response to the enemy’s targeting of the funeral in Aita al-Shaab,” a Lebanese border town.

“Any harm to civilians will be reciprocated,” the group added in a statement.

The IDF said that three rockets were fired from Lebanon at northern Israel, setting off sirens in Kiryat Shmona and nearby communities.

It added that troops are responding with artillery shelling.

There are no reports of injuries or damage.

Israel has warned it will no longer tolerate the presence of the terror group along the northern frontier after Hamas’s October 7 massacre, in which some 3,000 terrorists burst into Israel from Gaza, killing some 1,200 people and kidnapping over 240, mostly civilians.

Since that date, 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 four civilian deaths on the Israeli side, as well as the deaths of seven IDF soldiers. There have also been a number of rocket attacks from Syria, without any injuries.

On the Lebanese side, more than 120 have been killed. The toll includes 111 Hezbollah members — some of whom were killed in Syria — 16 Palestinian terror operatives, a Lebanese soldier, and at least 17 civilians, three of whom were journalists.

Since October 7, the Israel Air Force’s air traffic control has identified and thwarted more than 100 aerial threats, including drones and cruise missiles, according to IDF data released Monday.

The IDF said that the threats were downed using fighter jets and other air defenses, while publishing footage showing some of the interceptions.

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