Israeli civilian killed in Hezbollah missile attack on Lebanon border

Sharif Sawaed was doing infrastructure work for the IDF in Mount Dov area; in response, fighter jets hit terror group’s sites across south Lebanon

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

Sharif Sawaed, killed in a Hezbollah missile attack on the Lebanon border, early April 26, 2024. (Courtesy)
Sharif Sawaed, killed in a Hezbollah missile attack on the Lebanon border, early April 26, 2024. (Courtesy)

An Israeli civilian contracted by the military was killed in a Hezbollah anti-tank missile attack on the Mount Dov area on the border with Lebanon overnight, the Israel Defense Forces said Friday morning.

The man was identified by media reports as Sharif Sawaed, a resident of the Bedouin town of Sallama near Karmiel. Some reports said he was from Ras al-Ein, an adjacent Arab town.

Sawaed, a father of two, had been carrying out “infrastructure activity” for the military in the Mount Dov area amid the missile attack, the IDF said.

The activity was part of efforts by the IDF to improve its defenses on the border. Currently, there is no border fence in the Mount Dov area, also known as Shebaa Farms — an area claimed by Lebanon — which houses several military positions and no towns.

The Hezbollah terror group said it had targeted two IDF vehicles in the area shortly before midnight.

The military said Sawaed’s death was declared not long after he was hit by one of the two anti-tank missiles.

The source of the missile fire was hit by Israeli artillery shelling, the IDF added.

Footage published by Lebanese media showed an explosion on the mountainside amid the exchange of fire.

Following the attack, the IDF said it struck Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon’s Chebaa, including a weapons depot and a rocket launcher, and additional sites in Markaba, Kfarchouba, and Ain al-Tineh, the latter of which is some 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the Israeli border.

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 nine civilian deaths on the Israeli side — including the attack late Thursday — as well as the deaths of 11 IDF soldiers and reservists. There have also been several attacks from Syria, without any injuries.

Hezbollah has named 287 members who have been killed by Israel during the ongoing skirmishes, mostly in Lebanon, but some also in Syria. In Lebanon, another 54 operatives from other terror groups, a Lebanese soldier and at least 60 civilians, three of whom were journalists, have been killed.

Israel has threatened to go to war to force Hezbollah away from the border if it does not retreat and continues to threaten northern communities, from where some 70,000 people were evacuated to avoid the fighting.

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