Civilian killed, 5 troops hurt by Hezbollah missile; northern residents protest inaction

IAF kills Hezbollah operative; terror group downs surveillance balloon, fires barrage of 10 rockets at Hermon; locals block off intersections to protest government’s lack of action

Residents of northern Israeli communities and supporters protest against the government at the Mahanaim Junction, May 14, 2024. (David Cohen/Flash90)
Residents of northern Israeli communities and supporters protest against the government at the Mahanaim Junction, May 14, 2024. (David Cohen/Flash90)

An Israeli civilian was killed and five soldiers were wounded in a Hezbollah anti-tank guided missile attack against a military position near the northern community of Adamit on Tuesday as hostilities between Israel and the Lebanese terror group continued on Independence Day, with residents of northern Israel protesting against the government for not resolving their seven-month-long displacement from their homes.

The Israel Defense Forces said one soldier was moderately injured and four others were lightly hurt in the attack against the Adamit area.

Hezbollah claimed responsibility, saying it targeted a military position from which an IDF observation balloon was operated. At least three missiles were launched in the attack.

An Israeli civilian who arrived at the military position following the first missile strike that wounded the troops was hit by a second missile. The man died of his wounds a short while later. He was not immediately named.

The third missile struck the tether to an IDF observation balloon, which the military later acknowledged had floated away and landed in Lebanese territory.

There was no fear of information being taken from the sensors and cameras on the balloon, the army said.

The IDF said it struck buildings used by Hezbollah in southern Lebanon’s Ayta ash-Shab and Kafr Kila in response to the attack.

Earlier, the IDF said a barrage of some 10 rockets was launched from Lebanon at the Mount Hermon area, setting off sirens in the Druze Town of Majdal Shams, but the rockets struck open areas, causing no damage or injuries.

Israeli Air Force fighter jets hit also several Hezbollah sites in Kharayeb, Halta, Yaroun, and Mays al-Jabal, the military said, killing a member of the Lebanese terror organization in the latter location.

The strikes came after the IDF said it had struck several Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon overnight, such as in Odaisseh, where Hezbollah terrorists were spotted, and in Khiam and Kafr Kila, where buildings tied to Hezbollah were attacked.

The IDF said that Israel was also attacked overnight by a drone heading toward the country from the east, but it was intercepted by an Israeli fighter jet.

According to the IDF, the drone did not enter Israeli airspace, and therefore sirens did not sound.

Amid the ongoing war, Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Syria have claimed to have launched dozens of drones at Israel, with the IDF reporting downing many of them.

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 ten civilian deaths on the Israeli side — including Tuesday’s attack — 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 297 members who have been killed by Israel during the ongoing skirmishes, mostly in Lebanon but some also in Syria.

In Lebanon, another 60 operatives from other terror groups, a Lebanese soldier, and at least 60 civilians, three of whom were journalists, have been killed.

The hostilities between Israel and the Lebanese terror organization have caused tens of thousands of Israelis to evacuate from their homes, leaving them displaced since the beginning of the war.

Illustrative: Smoke and fire seen after rockets fired from Lebanon hit an open area near Kiryat Shmona, May 10, 2024. (Ayal Margolin/Flash90)

To express their frustration with the government’s inability to bring about a solution to their displacement, northern residents, seeking to contrast the festivities of Independence Day, protested on Tuesday by blocking off major intersections across the north.

According to the Walla news site, hundreds demonstrated across the area alongside local mayors and heads of regional councils.

“Northern residents have been displaced from their homes for seven months, and they have no idea when they’re going home,” said Moshe Davidovich, the head of the Mateh Asher Regional Council and chairman of the “Frontline Forum,” a cohort of local political leaders from the north who are calling on the government to pursue a diplomatic or military resolution to allow residents to return to their homes.

“For seven months, business owners have been collapsing… people don’t know what to do with themselves because they’re so full of despair and frustration,” he told Walla. “We demand that the government immediately compensate the businesses and the farmers.

“For seven months the feeling of security has been damaged and Hezbollah is shooting and hitting in every direction. We demand from the government a clear plan for how they will fight Hezbollah and whether there will be a diplomatic resolution and a demilitarized zone or a significant war in the north.”

Last week, Davidovich announced that northern communities will “disengage” from Israel and create their own “State of the Galilee” in protest of how they feel they have been abandoned by the government.

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