Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Hezbollah fires rockets into northern Israel: Gaza war live updates


Hezbollah on Thursday responded to Israeli air strikes in Lebanon with what the Israeli military described as Hezbollah’s most serious missile and drone attack in more than eight months of hostilities.

This is the second straight day of escalating attacks in a conflict that has raised fears of all-out war, even as Israel continues to press its military offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

It was not immediately clear how many weapons Hezbollah, a powerful militia and political faction backed by Iran, fired at Israel on Thursday. But the group’s Al-Manar TV reported that at one point, more than 100 rockets were launched in a coordinated attack targeting several Israeli military installations. Hezbollah said that the attack included a number of drones that targeted a military headquarters in northern Israel.

The Israeli military said in the afternoon that Hezbollah had fired more than 40 rockets across the border, but the barrage of rockets continued into the evening. Hours later, Israel did not update that number, but a military spokesman described it as the most serious Hezbollah attack since October. He did not immediately provide details.

At least four people were injured in the attack on Thursday, according to the Israeli military and its emergency service, Magen David Adom. The army said in the afternoon that its air defenses had shot down many of the weapons fired up to that point, but some had penetrated.

The attacks sparked forest fires on both sides of the border, as more than 150,000 people fled their homes due to almost daily strikes by Israeli forces and Hezbollah militants.

Israelis look at the smoke and fire that followed a cross-border raid by Hezbollah in Katzrin in the Golan Heights, on Thursday.credit…Eyal Margolin – Reuters

On Tuesday, an Israeli raid targeted and killed Talib Abdullah, a senior Hezbollah commander, prompting the group to intensify its attacks on Israel in response. On Wednesday, it fired more than 200 missiles at Israel, according to the Israeli army, but they caused minor damage.

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The Israeli army said on Thursday that its fighter jets bombed “Hezbollah military facilities” overnight in Lebanese border villages.

Israeli officials have threatened to take stronger action against Hezbollah, and pressure to do so has increased – from the political right and from displaced civilians. But so far, the two sides have not reached the point of all-out war.

The United States, France and other mediators, warning of the risk of a regional war, sought to advance a diplomatic settlement between Israel and Hezbollah that could restore calm on both sides of the border. But analysts say the probability of reaching an agreement will be low as long as the Israeli campaign in Gaza continues.

On Thursday, residents of the southern Gaza Strip reported violent bombardment by the Israeli army.

Saeed Lolo, who was taking shelter in the southern Al-Mawasi area — which Israel has designated a “humanitarian zone” for civilians — said he heard strikes between midnight and 6 a.m. He added that the attacks appeared to have hit the southwestern edge of Al-Mawasi.

“We are very worried,” 37-year-old Lolo said. “This is supposed to be a safe area, and we have nowhere else to go if they attack here.”

Wafa, the official news agency of the Palestinian Authority, reported that Israel intensified its missile and artillery strikes on Al-Mawasi, where many Gazans went in search of shelter, in response to Israeli warnings to flee near Rafah, where hundreds of thousands had previously sought shelter in the Gaza Strip. war.

The Israeli army denied Wafa’s report, saying that it did not attack the “humanitarian Al-Mawasi area” and that it was moving forward with its operations in Rafah, where its soldiers were engaged in “face-to-face confrontations.” With Hamas activists.

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Fighting in Rafah has raged intermittently since early May, when Israeli soldiers began their advance into the heart of the city in what Israel described as a key step in defeating the remaining Hamas brigades and dismantling the group’s infrastructure.

Palestinians walk in front of destroyed buildings in the Bureij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, on Wednesday.credit…Iyad Baba/AFP – Getty Images

Israel said it did not attack areas designated as safe zones, and that it made clear where those areas were by posting maps on social media and dropping leaflets over Gaza.

But aid workers note that Gazans have limited access to mobile phones and the Internet. Some residents said they had never seen leaflets, while others said the numbering system used by the Israeli military to designate “humanitarian areas” was confusing.

Jonathan Rees And Michael Levinson Contributed to reports.