ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 144

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Rockets fired from Lebanon at north; IDF strikes terror cells, Hezbollah sites

IDF says it bombed terror group’s positions in southern Lebanon in response to attacks; Israel also said to hit Syrian military, pro-Iran militia targets in response to shelling

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

Flares are fired from northern Israel over the southern Lebanese border village of Aita al-Shaab, on October 28, 2023. (FADEL SENNA / AFP)
Flares are fired from northern Israel over the southern Lebanese border village of Aita al-Shaab, on October 28, 2023. (FADEL SENNA / AFP)

Several rocket volleys were fired from Lebanon at northern Israel on Sunday, and the Israel Defense Forces said it hit terror cells and sites belonging to the Hezbollah terror group, as skirmishes continued on the northern frontier and the army continues its war with Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip in the south.

According to the IDF, rockets were launched from Lebanon at the upper and western Galilee several times throughout the day, setting off sirens in towns including Kiryat Shmona, Nahariya, Shlomi, Tuba-Zangariyye, Rosh Pina, Ayelet Hashahar, and Hatzor Haglilit.

Several of the projectiles were intercepted by air defenses, while others landed in open areas, causing no damage, according to the IDF.

One rocket fired Sunday evening scored a direct hit on a home in Kiryat Shmona but did not cause any injuries.

The IDF said it was responding with artillery shelling against the sources of the rocket fire.

A number of rockets were also launched from Lebanon at the Mount Dov area on the northern border, where there are a number of military positions and no towns. The IDF said all the projectiles landed in open areas, causing no injuries.

The IDF said a drone strike was carried out against the terror cell that launched those rockets, and that fighter jets hit a Hezbollah position in response to the attack.

Also Sunday, the IDF said it struck two terror cells in southern Lebanon preparing to carry out anti-tank guided missile attacks against northern Israel.

The IDF said it also carried out a drone strike on a terror operative flying a drone over the border.

The IDF released footage showing troops of the elite Maglan unit striking Hezbollah positions on the Lebanon border, as well as the bolstering of forces in northern Israel.

Later, in response to the rocket and attempted missile attacks, the IDF said it carried out airstrikes against a number of Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon.

According to the IDF, the targets included “infrastructure for directing terror, and military infrastructure” belonging to the terror group.

Also on Sunday, a number of rockets were fired from Syria at northern Israel. All of the projectiles landed in open areas, causing no damage or injuries, the IDF said.

It added that troops responded with artillery shelling at the source of the rocket fire.

Late Saturday, the IDF allegedly struck Syrian military and pro-Iranian militia targets on the Syrian border in response to shelling fired toward Israel, Syrian media reported.

Syrian opposition media reported that Israel targeted Syrian Army posts, and pro-Iranian militia positions, in the Quneitra area of southern Syria.

The strikes were reportedly in response to shelling toward the Golan Heights several hours prior.

The report was not confirmed by the Israel Defense Forces, which does not generally report on individual strikes in Syria.

In unrelated strikes on Saturday night, the IDF said it struck a compound belonging to the Hezbollah terror group and a number of observation posts in southern Lebanon in response to earlier rocket and missile attacks.

The IDF published footage showing one of the strikes.

The strikes came after several incidents along the border throughout Saturday.

In the morning, the IDF said its air defenses had intercepted a surface-to-air missile fired from Lebanon aimed at an Israeli military drone. The IDF unmanned aerial vehicle was not damaged in the attempt.

The IDF later said it carried out airstrikes against the site from which the missile was launched.

A short while later, the IDF said it carried out a drone strike against a terror cell in southern Lebanon preparing to carry out an anti-tank guided missile attack against an area near the northern community of Hanita.

Also Saturday, the IDF said mortars and anti-tank guided missiles were launched from Lebanon at military positions and Israeli towns on the border, setting off sirens in the Upper Galilee communities of Misgav Am and Margaliot, and in the Arab town of al-Aramshe in the Western Galilee.

In two further attacks, several rockets were launched from Lebanon at areas near the northern communities of Zar’it and Shtula. All the projectiles landed in open areas causing no injuries or damage.

Smoke rises from inside an Israeli army position which was hit by missiles launched by the Hezbollah terror group, as seen from Tair Harfa village, a Lebanese border village with Israel, south Lebanon, October 20, 2023. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

The IDF said it responded with artillery shelling toward the sources of the rocket fire and later carried out an airstrike on a Hezbollah site.

Amid the repeated attacks from Lebanon, the military and Defense Ministry have been evacuating 42 border communities and the city of Kiryat Shmona. Many residents in northern towns had already evacuated southward amid the escalating attacks.

The Iran-backed Hezbollah has fired dozens of anti-tank guided missiles, rockets, and mortars at Israeli military positions and Israeli towns since the murderous October 7 Hamas onslaught. It also sent gunmen — some affiliated with Palestinian terror groups — to infiltrate northern Israel. Several drones have been intercepted over northern Israel.

The IDF has reported striking dozens of terror cells in southern Lebanon in recent days.

The tit-for-tat attacks have so far remained limited in scope, amid threats from Israel that Lebanon will suffer if Hezbollah steps up its attacks.

Six Israeli soldiers, at least 47 Hezbollah gunmen, and eight Palestinian gunmen have been killed in the exchanges. One Israeli civilian was killed in a Hezbollah attack, and four Lebanese civilians and a journalist were also reported killed by Israeli shelling.

The attacks from Lebanon have come as Israel is waging war in Gaza against Hamas after the terror group’s shock assault on the country on October 7, in which it killed some 1,400 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapped over 230 people and took them to the Strip.

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