IDF strikes Hezbollah targets in Lebanon after rocket, drone attacks on north

No casualties or damage in latest cross border attacks, as military shoots down ‘suspicious aerial target’ heading for Israeli airspace

Illustrative: Israeli soldiers patrol an area near the northern Kibbutz Kfar Blum close to the border with Lebanon on January 25, 2024. (Jalaa Marey/AFP)
Illustrative: Israeli soldiers patrol an area near the northern Kibbutz Kfar Blum close to the border with Lebanon on January 25, 2024. (Jalaa Marey/AFP)

The Israel Defense Forces said it carried out a new wave of strikes on Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon on Saturday, in response to several rocket attacks on northern Israel earlier in the day.

Fighter jets hit Hezbollah infrastructure in Blida, Marwahin and Ayta ash-Shab, the IDF said.

In one of the Saturday morning attacks from Lebanon, the IDF said it intercepted a “suspicious aerial target,” believed to be a drone, that was heading toward Israeli airspace. The incident set off suspected drone infiltration alarms in several communities in the Upper Galilee.

A military spokesperson said the target was downed over Lebanese airspace before it crossed into Israel.

Rocket sirens also sounded in the northern communities of Shlomi Iftach, Mevuot Hermon Regional Council, Ramot Naftali, Malkia and Dishon.

There were no reports of casualties or damage in the attacks.

The northern border communities have been largely evacuated of civilians since October 8, when Hezbollah-led forces began launching daily attacks on Israeli communities and military posts along the border. The Lebanon-based terror group says it is doing so to support Gaza amid Israel’s war with the Hamas terror group, triggered by its October 7 massacres.

So far, the skirmishes on the border have resulted in six civilian deaths on the Israeli side, as well as the deaths of nine IDF soldiers and reservists.

There have also been several attacks from Syria, without any injuries.
Hezbollah has named 171 members who have been killed by Israel during the ongoing skirmishes, mostly in Lebanon but some also in Syria. In Lebanon, another 20 operatives from other terror groups, a Lebanese soldier, and at least 19 civilians, three of whom were journalists, have been killed.

The continued violence comes amid diplomatic efforts to avert a full-scale war with Hezbollah. Israel has been warning that it would be forced to move against Hezbollah with force if talks fail and there is no other way to allow residents evacuated from northern border communities to return.

UN resolution 1701, which ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War, required that Hezbollah be kept away from the border, but the Lebanese army and the UN have never enforced it. Israel has been pushing for allies with strong ties to Lebanon, like France, to step in amid the mounting violence.

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