Lebanon’s Hezbollah says it launched dozens of rockets after Israeli strikes

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Written By Pinang Driod

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s Hezbollah said it launched dozens of rockets at Kiryat Shmona, an Israeli town over the border, early on Wednesday in response to deadly Israeli strikes on the village of Hebbariyeh in southern Lebanon a day earlier.

Israel and Iran-backed Hezbollah have been trading fire across the border since the Israel-Hamas war erupted in Gaza, in the biggest escalation between the old enemies since a month-long conflict in 2006.

Both sides have said they do not want all-out war and are open to a diplomatic process but strikes, have picked up this week after a lull in cross-border shelling.

Israeli emergency services said a rocket strike on Wednesday killed a factory worker in Kiryat Shmona following warning sirens in the area.

Paramedics from the MDA ambulance service said the man was pulled from the wreckage of the factory with severe wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene.

At least seven people were killed in the Israeli strikes on Hebbariyeh, two Lebanese security sources told Reuters.

The Israeli strikes appeared to be aimed at the Islamist group’s emergency and relief centre in the village, the sources said.

Hezbollah earlier on Wednesday had condemned the strikes on Habbariyeh. Israeli strikes on southern Lebanon had already killed more than half a dozen medical personnel and rescue workers, according to Lebanon’s health ministry.

The Gaza war has spread beyond the enclave’s borders to other parts of the Middle East and the Israeli military said pilots have stepped up practising long-range strikes across the northern border in a sign of possible further escalation.

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) froze its normal annual training when it began its campaign of air strikes against Gaza in response to the Oct. 7 attack but has gradually returned to training in recent weeks, it said.

“The training program will focus on increasing the IAF’s readiness for war in the northern arena and in other arenas during prolonged combat,” the military said in a statement.

The training would include “massive, long-range strikes, flying deep into enemy territory” it said.

Aside from the violence in Gaza and on the Israel-Lebanon border, Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis have been attacking ships in and around the Red Sea, and armed groups in Iraq with close ties to Tehran have attacked bases hosting U.S. forces in that country.

Hezbollah earlier on Wednesday had condemned the strikes on Habbariyeh. Israeli strikes on southern Lebanon had already killed more than a half dozen medical personnel and rescue workers, according to Lebanon’s health ministry.

On Tuesday, Israeli air strikes near two towns in northeast Lebanon killed three Hezbollah militants, the group posted on Telegram. Israel confirmed those strikes.

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