After Hezbollah Rocket Fire, Israel Makes a Move

Member of nation's war cabinet suggests Lebanese government to blame for rocket attacks
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2024 11:20 AM CST
Israel Strikes Hezbollah. Could Lebanon Be Next?
Israeli security forces examine a site hit by a rocket fired from Lebanon, in Safed, Israel, on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Gil Eliyahu)

Israel escalated its attacks on Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon Wednesday in response to rocket fire that killed a citizen while reaching further into northern Israel than previous attacks from Hezbollah, per Bloomberg. A woman died and eight others were injured when a rocket landed near Safed, some 8 miles south of the Israel-Lebanon border, per the New York Times. Israel claimed Hezbollah had targeted a military command center. Though the militant group hasn't claimed responsibility, "the missiles came from an area largely controlled by Hezbollah," Bloomberg reports. The rocket attack was "the second in two days to cause casualties in northern Israel," per the Times.

Israel and Hezbollah have been trading fire across the border almost daily since Hamas, a Hezbollah ally, attacked Israel in October in what became the kickoff to an all-out war. But Wednesday brought "a significant escalation in cross-border tensions," per the Times. Israel Defense Forces said "fighter jets struck a series of Hezbollah terrorist targets," including "military compounds, operational control rooms, and terrorist infrastructure" in response to the rocket attack. The IDF noted "several targets belonged to Hezbollah's elite by Radwan Forces." Hezbollah, which has vowed to attack Israel until it agrees to a ceasefire with Hamas, said one of its fighters was killed, per Bloomberg.

A member of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's emergency war cabinet suggested Israel could also strike Lebanese military targets. "The government of Lebanon and the Lebanese state that allows the shooting from its territory" also bear responsibility for the attacks, Benny Gantz said, per the Times. Lebanon's government has "little control" over Hezbollah, per Bloomberg. Still, Israel has warned military action may be necessary to allow Israelis to return home. More than 150,000 people on both sides of the border have been displaced. Since Oct. 7, at least 243 people, including 30 civilians, have been killed on Lebanon's side of the border, compared with nine soldiers and six civilians on the Israeli side, per AFP. (More Israel stories.)

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