The Iran-backed Hezbollah group exchanged fire with Israel’s military on the border with Lebanon, raising tension in the region as the Jewish state builds troops near Gaza in preparation for a possible ground operation.
(Bloomberg) — The Iran-backed Hezbollah group exchanged fire with Israel’s military on the border with Lebanon, raising tension in the region as the Jewish state builds troops near Gaza in preparation for a possible ground operation.
Hezbollah, one of the Middle East’s most powerful militias, said it hit an Israeli army post with guided missiles in response to the killing of some of its fighters earlier this week. In a statement broadcast on the group’s Al-Manar television, it claimed the attack injured Israeli soldiers.
Later, Israel Defense Forces said they hit an observation post for Hezbollah in southern Lebanon with artillery fire. It said anti-tank missiles were fired at one of its northern military posts close to the Lebanese border.
The Israeli post was adjacent to the community of Arab Al-Aramshe on the so-called Blue Line, the boundary set by United Nations peacekeepers stationed there.
It’s the latest of several incidents this week in northern Israel. On Monday, Israel shelled border towns after an attack by a Palestinian group.
Tensions there have soared since Hamas attacked southern Israel on Saturday, killing more than 1,000 Israelis, and Israel responded by striking Gaza.
Hezbollah has expressed solidarity with Hamas. It is thought to have tens of thousands of missiles and analysts have said it may opt to attack Israel more forcefully, especially if Israeli troops move into Gaza.
Lebanon is going through its worst financial crisis in decades. Its currency has lost most of its value since 2019 and it’s defaulted on around $30 billion of Eurobonds. Politicians remain in deadlock in naming a new president and a central bank governor. Hezbollah is viewed as one of the most powerful and effective organizations in the country.
Israel has said that it would target all of Lebanon in the event of a war with Hezbollah.
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(Updates with IDF response.)
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