Israeli soldier killed by Hezbollah drone as clashes intensify and new weapons unleashed

Israeli soldier killed by Hezbollah drone as clashes intensify and new weapons unleashed
Hezbollah carried out a drone attack on a military position in north Israel, killing an Israeli soldier and wounding 11 others, one of its largest attacks yet.
3 min read
06 June, 2024
The pace of intensity of clashes between Israel and Hezbollah have escalated in recent weeks, prompting brinkmanship from both sides. [Getty]

An Israeli soldier was killed and eleven more in a Hezbollah suicide drone attack on a military position in Hurfeish, north Israel on Wednesday amid intensifying cross-border clashes between the two.

The strike was one of the deadliest launched by Hezbollah against Israeli forces since cross-border hostilities started in the wake of Hamas's 7 October surprise attack.

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The Israeli army said it was investigating why sirens did not sound in anticipation of the attack, as Hezbollah drones once again managed to slip past Israel's advanced Iron Dome air defence system.

Hezbollah said the attack was in response to an Israeli strike in Naqoura, south Lebanon, the day prior.

Israel conducted further retaliatory strikes on Wednesday night, striking a warehouse for electrical goods in Wadi Jilo and a house in the village of Aadshit, south Lebanon. The strikes wounded at least four and caused large fires, which were eventually put out by members of the civil defence.

The tit-for-tat strikes occurred as the pace and intensity of clashes between Hezbollah and Israel have sharply increased in recent weeks.

Hezbollah in particular has expanded the arena of conflict, targeting the northern coastal cities of acre and al-Nahariya for the first time in months.

It has also repeatedly managed to target military sites with a mixture of drones and heavy rockets while evading the Iron Dome system. The Lebanese group released a video on Thursday showing what it claimed was a successful drone attack on an Iron Dome battery – something that the Israeli army said it was unaware of.

Hezbollah attacks sparked wildfires in northern Israel over the weekend, increasing pressure on Israel's leadership to find a solution to the nearly eight months of fighting. Over 100,000 residents of north Israel have been displaced from their homes, while 94,000 residents were displaced in south Lebanon.

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Will there be a full-scale war? 

The escalation in fighting has prompted Israeli officials to make stronger statements on their position towards Hezbollah.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that the Israeli army was "prepared for a very intense operation" in south Lebanon – but stopped short of saying it was ready for a full-scale war.

Former Israeli defence minister and current war cabinet member Benny Gantz also set 1 September as a deadline to end hostilities with Hezbollah, saying the country does not want to "lose another year."

US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Wednesday that the Israeli government's statements say that they are "ready for a military operation," but not that they will launch them.

"They said their preference would be to resolve it diplomatically, but they are also prepared to do so militarily. We continue to prefer a diplomatic approach," US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Wednesday.

Hezbollah has said that it does not want a full-scale war, but that it is prepared for one.

Cross-border hostilities have killed more than 450 people in Lebanon, including more than 88 civilians, according to an AFP tally. Israel has claimed that 15 soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed in clashes with Hezbollah and affiliated groups.