Hezbollah fires rockets at Israel in retaliation for air strikes

The border between Israel and Lebanon is experiencing its highest level of tension since 2006, with frequent exchanges of fire between Hezbollah and Israel, since the start of the war in Gaza.

Hezbollah said it fired 60 rockets at an Israeli military base in Nafah, in the Golan Heights, as a retaliation for an Israeli bombing in the Bekaa Valley, a stronghold of the group in eastern Lebanon, earlier on Monday.

The Israeli air strike, the first of its kind in that area since the conflict began more than four months ago, hit two locations near the city of Baalbek, a tourist destination in the Bekaa.

A source close to Hezbollah told EFE that the air strike killed at least two people, and the group later announced the death of two of its members from the Bekaa Valley, without giving more details.

Israel said its planes targeted Hezbollah’s air defense sites, in response to a surface-to-air missile that was launched at an Israeli drone flying over southern Lebanon.

The Lebanese Civil Defense said on social media X that the Israeli attacks in the Bekaa caused fires in a house and a shed.

The violence continued throughout the day, as the Lebanese rescue group also reported that a car was hit by another Israeli air strike in the Majadel area, in southern Lebanon, where local media said at least two more people died.

The Israeli Army said it killed the leader of Hezbollah’s Naser unit, Hasan Hussein Salami, in an air strike in the city of Tyre, in southern Lebanon.

Salami was responsible for attacks against “civilian and military targets” in the north, according to an Israeli military statement, such as firing “anti-tank missiles at the Kiryat Shmona area or at the headquarters of the (Israeli) 769 brigade.”

Israel said its attack was preceded by a surface-to-air missile that was fired at a Hemes drone by Lebanon, along with a barrage of rockets, which brought down the drone “within Lebanese territory,” according to the Army.

The border between Israel and Lebanon is experiencing its highest level of tension since 2006, with frequent exchanges of fire since the start of the war in Gaza, which has killed more than 300 people, including 218 Hezbollah members, who also reported losses in Syria.

In Israel, 16 people have died on the northern border (10 soldiers and 6 civilians); while on the other side of the border, at least 285 have died, including 32 members of Palestinian groups, one soldier and 34 civilians – among them ten children and three journalists -, as well as Hezbollah fighters.

Israel had previously carried out some selective air strikes in areas away from the border, including one near Beirut that killed the deputy leader of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, Saleh al Arouri, in January, but had not attacked the Bekaa Valley until now.

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