Hezbollah launches rockets at Israel after deadly south Lebanon strike

Hezbollah launches rockets at Israel after deadly south Lebanon strike
Six Lebanese were killed by an Israeli air strike on a village in southern Lebanon on Saturday in the latest attack on the country by Israel
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Hezbollah and Israel have been engaged in near daily rocket fire since the start of the Gaza war in October [GETTY]

A local official in Lebanon and state media said an Israeli strike Sunday on a southern village killed several family members, with Hezbollah fighters announcing rocket fire in retaliation.

Israel and Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah group have exchanged regular cross-border fire since Palestinian militant group Hamas's unprecedented October attack on southern Israel sparked the war in Gaza.

Fighting has intensified in recent weeks, with Israel striking deeper into Lebanese territory, while Hezbollah has stepped up its missile and drone attacks on military positions in northern Israel.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency said the strike in Mais al-Jabal killed "four people from a single family", updating an earlier reported toll of three dead in the raid it said was carried out by Israeli aircraft.

It identified them as a man, a woman and their children aged 12 and 21, and said two other people were wounded.

A Lebanese security source, requesting anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media, confirmed the strike killed "four civilians".

Mais al-Jabal municipality chief Abdelmoneim Shukair had earlier told AFP that three people were killed, saying they were a couple and their son.

Hezbollah in a statement said it fired "dozens of Katyusha and Falaq rockets" at Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel "in response to the horrific crime that the Israeli enemy committed in Mais al-Jabal".

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It later said it fired dozens more Katyusha rockets at Israeli troops and vehicles across the border "as part of the response" to the Mais al-Jabal strike.

The Israeli army told AFP that "about 40 rockets were identified crossing" from Lebanon, "some of which were intercepted".

"At the moment, no casualties have been reported," it added.

Hezbollah has repeatedly declared that only a ceasefire in Gaza will put an end to its attacks on Israel, which it says are in support of Gazans and its ally Hamas.

Both the United States and France have made diplomatic efforts to calm tensions on the Lebanese-Israeli border.

In Lebanon, at least 390 people have been killed in nearly seven months of cross-border violence, mostly militants but also more than 70 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

Israel says 11 soldiers and nine civilians have been killed on its side of the border.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced on both sides.