Israel strikes on Lebanon kill Hezbollah fighter, two children: group, official media

Israel strikes on Lebanon kill Hezbollah fighter, two children: group, official media
Israeli air strikes on Friday hit an area of southern Lebanon far from the border, Lebanese media said, where three found dead including two Syrian children.
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Lebanese soldiers, ambulances and civilians gather near the site of Israeli bombardment in the village of Zahrani on May 17, 2024, in southern Lebanon near the border with Israel. [Getty]

Israeli air strikes on Friday hit an area of southern Lebanon far from the border, with Hezbollah announcing one dead fighter and official media saying two Syrian children were killed.

Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, has traded cross-border fire with Israeli forces almost daily since the Palestinian group's October 7 attack on southern Israel.

The Iran-backed Lebanese movement has intensified its attacks in recent days, including using new weapons.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency said "Israeli strikes targeted Najjariyeh and Addousiyeh", two adjacent villages just south of the coastal city of Sidon, about 30 kilometres (19 miles) from the Israeli border.

The Israeli military said in a statement that its air force "struck terrorist infrastructure" where Hezbollah fighters operated in the Najjariyeh area.

The "infrastructure contained several compounds used by Hezbollah's aerial defence array and posed a threat to Israeli aircraft", it added.

Hezbollah announced a fighter from Najjariyeh had died. The NNA said two Syrian children were killed in the Najjariyeh strike, identifying them as Osama and Hani al-Khaled.

According to French news agency AFP, the strikes hit a pickup truck in Najjariyeh and an orchard.

The Israeli army statement said that "Hezbollah's aerial defence array deliberately operates from within civilian areas, thus endangering the lives of civilians in southern Lebanon".

Hezbollah announced Friday it had launched "attack drones" on Israeli military positions, a day after the powerful Lebanese group said it had attacked an army position in Metula, a border town in northern Israel, wounding three soldiers.

Hezbollah said Thursday's attack was carried out with an "attack drone carrying two S5 rockets", which are normally launched from jets.

Earlier this week Hezbollah said it had targeted an Israeli base near Tiberias, about 30 kilometres from the Lebanese border -- one of the group's deepest attacks into Israeli territory since clashes began on October 8.

The cross-border fighting has killed at least 418 people in Lebanon, including 82 civilians.

Israel says 14 soldiers and 10 civilians have been killed on its side of the border.