International pressure for a ceasefire in Gaza is increasing

Several dead in Israeli airstrikes in Lebanon after deadly rocket attack

The Israeli army said on Wednesday that warplanes had carried out “a series of attacks on neighboring Lebanon” following a rocket attack that killed one soldier, killing at least four people, according to Lebanese media.

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This violence raises fears of an escalation after months of daily exchanges of fire on the border between Israel and the Lebanese Islamist movement Hezbollah linked to the war in the Gaza Strip.

According to the National News Agency (ANI), the army announced that it had attacked “Hezbollah terrorist targets” in several locations in southern Lebanon, killing four people, three civilians who were members of the same family and a fighter from the Islamist movement. , official).

These raids, which targeted locations within 10 to 25 km of the border, were carried out in retaliation for a rocket attack from Lebanon on a military base in northern Israel that killed a female soldier, according to the Israeli army.

Sergeant Omer Sarah Benjo, 20, was “killed by (rocket) fire from Lebanese territory at a base in northern Israel,” the army said.

An initial report from Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom said seven people were injured, including five in the city of Safed.

An AFP photographer saw doctors and soldiers evacuate an injured person from Safed Hospital to another facility using a military helicopter.

This rocket attack was not claimed by the pro-Iranian Hezbollah.

A Lebanese security source initially told AFP that four civilians were killed and nine people were injured in the raids in two different villages.

According to ANI, a woman, her two-year-old son and her 13-year-old stepson were killed in Sawaneh village.

Another raid completely destroyed a building in the village of Adchit, leaving one dead, one Hezbollah fighter and 10 injured, according to ANI, which reported significant destruction in the locality.

Hezbollah later confirmed the death of one of its fighters in that village.

“Very strong offensive”

Since the day after the bloody Hamas attack in Israel on October 7 that sparked the war in Gaza, Hezbollah has attacked Israeli military positions on the border in support of the Palestinian Islamist movement.

Israel, in turn, regularly bombs southern Lebanon and carries out targeted attacks against leaders of the Lebanese Islamist movement.

Israeli army chief of staff Herzi Halevi said on Wednesday during a visit to the north of the country that “the next campaign will be a very strong offensive,” an army statement said.

For his part, a senior Hezbollah official, Hachem Safieddine, warned that “this aggression (..) will not go unanswered.”

Violence between the Israeli army and Hezbollah has led to the displacement of tens of thousands of people on both sides of the border.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Tuesday that “if the aggression in Gaza stops and there is a ceasefire, the shootings will also stop in the south” of Lebanon.

“If they escalate the confrontation, so will we,” he added, in response to repeated threats from Israeli officials to start a war against its neighbor.

According to an AFP count, at least 248 people have been killed in southern Lebanon in more than four months, mostly fighters from Hezbollah and other allied groups, but also 33 civilians. According to the army, 16 people were killed on the Israeli side: ten soldiers and six civilians.