Lebanon-Israel tensions boil over as Hezbollah unleashes barrage of drones and rockets

File Pic: Hezbollah fighters

Lebanon’s Hezbollah said on Monday it had launched a squadron of drones towards the headquarters of the Israeli military’s Galilee formation in an intensification of cross-border violence between the two adversaries.

While Hezbollah has previously launched drones at Israel during hostilities that began in October, it marked the first time the Iran-backed group had announced firing a squadron of them.

The hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel have rumbled on in parallel with the war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip, raising concern about the risk of a bigger conflict across the Israeli-Lebanese border.

Hezbollah also said it had launched dozens of Katyusha rockets towards Israeli targets in the occupied Golan Heights.

Air raid sirens sounded numerous times across northern Israel, sending residents running for shelter. The Israeli military said it had intercepted one drone from Lebanon carrying explosives, and at least two others fell in northern Israel.

Continuous rocket and drone launches since Sunday have set off massive wild fires in Israel’s north.

The military also said it carried out strikes against Hezbollah compounds and one of its operatives.

Hezbollah said it had fired the explosive drone squadron in response to what it described as an assassination carried out by Israel in the Zrariyeh area some 25 km (15 miles) from the border, where security sources in Lebanon said a Hezbollah member was killed in an Israeli drone strike. The group also said it had launched drones on Sunday towards Liman in northern Israel.

Also on Sunday, a drone launched by Hezbollah fell in the Israeli coastal city of Nahariya, causing a fire but no injuries, Israel’s military and local media reported.

Lebanon’s southern border has seen an uptick in hostilities in recent days, with both the Israeli military and Hezbollah striking locations outside the border strip where the exchanges of fire have been concentrated, and with increased intensity.

On Sunday, Israeli strikes killed two civilian men from the town of Houla, where they had stayed throughout the conflict to herd their cattle, security sources and townspeople told Reuters. They were buried on Monday in their hometown.

Israeli warplanes flew low over Beirut on Monday, according to residents. Reuters.

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