Israeli officer dies of wounds sustained in Hezbollah attack as Gallant warns Israel nearing 'decisive point' with Lebanon

Israeli officer dies of wounds sustained in Hezbollah attack as Gallant warns Israel nearing 'decisive point' with Lebanon
An Israeli officer who was wounded in a Hezbollah attack on a military base last week has died, as Yoav Gallant threatened Lebanon with 'decisive' action
2 min read
22 April, 2024
The attack on the Bedouin border village of Arab al-Aramshe wounded more than a dozen Israeli soldiers [Getty]

An Israeli officer succumbed to his wounds from last week’s attack on northern Israel by Hezbollah as Israel's far-right defence minister warned of "decisive" action on the Lebanon front.

"Retired Major Dor Zemel, who was injured in a drone attack in the Galilee region in the north of the country last week, died from his wounds," the Israeli military said in a statement on Sunday.

Hezbollah had launched missiles and suicide drones at an Israeli military facility in Arab al-Aramshe, a Palestinian village within Israel's 1948 boundaries bordering south Lebanon, injuring at least 18 Israeli soldiers.

Arab al-Aramshe has been the site of intense fighting between the Israelis and Hezbollah since the start of cross-border clashes on October 8, at the onset of the Gaza war.

Separately on Sunday, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said the Lebanese front "poses the greatest challenge to us," and requires urgent action.

"We are approaching the decisive hour on the northern front on the border with Lebanon," he added.

Israel has repeatedly threatened to carry out a ground invasion of south Lebanon and push Hezbollah back from the border if diplomatic efforts fail.

The US is mediating talks between Lebanon and Israel to officially demarcate the land border and push Hezbollah fighters several miles away from the Israeli frontier.

But Hezbollah has refused any deals before Israel’s offensive comes to an end in Gaza, where more than 34,000 people have been killed, mostly women and children.

In Lebanon, at least 370 people, including more than 240 Hezbollah fighters and at least 68 civilians, have been killed in the cross-border fighting according to a Reuters tally.

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Israel has carried out some strikes in regions far away from the border, including several airstrikes in east Lebanon’s Baalbek district, another Hezbollah stronghold.

Eighteen Israelis, including soldiers and civilians, have died on the Israeli side of the border, according to Israeli tallies, but Hezbollah believes the toll to be higher.

In separate developments on Sunday, Hezbollah said it downed an Israeli drone that was on a combat mission in southern Lebanon.

The Lebanese group said the drone was an Israeli Hermes 450, a multi-payload drone made by Israeli weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems.

(Reuters contributed to this report)