Israel launches air strikes on Hezbollah positions in Lebanon

Israel launches air strikes on Hezbollah positions in Lebanon
Israel launched air strikes at Hezbollah across the Lebanon border after suspected shots were fired by the militants.
2 min read
27 August, 2020

Israel has launched air strikes on Hezbollah targets along the Lebanon border as skirmishes with the Islamist movement continue, including the downing of an Israeli drone.

Israel hit Hezbollah observation posts on Wednesday, following a "security incident" in which shots were suspected of being fired at Manara, near the "Blue Line".

"During operational activity in northern Israel last night, shots were fired from Lebanon toward IDF troops," the Israeli military wrote on Twitter.

"We responded with fire, & our aircraft struck Hezbollah observation posts near the border. This is a severe event & we remain ready to combat any threat to our borders."

Israeli soldiers were not wounded in the firing, the military said.

Illumination flares, smoke shells and live fire were deployed from the Lebanese side, the Israelis added.

In response, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah described the incident as an "important and sensitive" matter but refused "for now" to comment further on it.

Skirmishes continue

Dozens of rockets were fired into Lebanon on Tuesday and local residents in the towns of Meiss El Jabal and Hula reported waking up to the sound of loud blasts and Israeli warplanes, The New Arab's Arabic language service reported.

Lebanon had earlier rejected an Israeli call to reform a UN peacekeeping force patrolling the border ahead of a UN Security Council vote to renew its mandate.

Lebanon and Israel are still technically at war, and the United Nations' force, UNIFIL, is tasked with monitoring a ceasefire.

The Israeli army said in a statement a "security incident" was "evolving" in the area of Manara, a kibbutz near the UN-demarcated Blue Line border in northern Israel.

"A number of routes in the area have been blocked. Any kind of activity in open areas is forbidden, including agricultural work," the army added.

"Residents are asked to remain in their houses, and near shelters, ready to find shelter upon immediate notice."

The army gave no information on the nature of the incident, which comes after Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah movement announced over the weekend that it had brought down an Israeli drone flying over the Blue Line border.

Hezbollah vowed last September to down Israeli drones flying over Lebanon, following an incident a month earlier when two drones packed with explosives targeted the group's stronghold in south Beirut.

Set up in 1978, UNIFIL was beefed up after a month-long devastating war in 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah, Lebanon's Iran-backed Shia militia.

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