Israeli air strikes in southern Lebanon kills 8 people

Eight people, all but one of them civilians, have been killed in Israeli strikes on south Lebanon, official sources said, while the Israeli army said it lost a soldier in cross-border rocket fire.

While the rocket attack was not immediately claimed, the exchanges of fire — and the worst single-day civilian death toll in Lebanon since cross-border hostilities began in October — raised fears of a broader conflict between Israel and group Hezbollah.

On Wednesday evening, four civilians from the same family, "including two women," were killed in an Israeli strike on a residential building in the city of Nabatiyeh, a Lebanese security source told the AFP news agency, updating an initial toll of three dead.

"The residents of the apartment targeted have no links to Hezbollah," added the source, requesting anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Earlier, Lebanon's state-run National News Agency [NNA] said Israeli warplanes targeted a house in south Lebanon's Sawwaneh, killing three members of the same family, identifying them as a Syrian woman and her child, aged two, and stepchild, 13.

The agency said another Israeli attack targeting the village of Adshit killed one person, who Hezbollah announced was one of its fighters, and wounded 10 others, destroying a building and causing significant damage nearby.

The Israeli army said in a statement Sergeant Omer Sarah Benjo, 20, was killed "as a result of a [rocket] launch carried out from Lebanese territory on a base in northern Israel".

'Heavy price'

Israel's Magen David Adom emergency service had said seven people were wounded in fire from Lebanon, five of them in the town of Safed.

An AFP photographer saw medics and troops evacuating a wounded person by military helicopter from Safed's Ziv hospital.

Israeli army chief Herzi Halevi said after meeting commanders near the Lebanese border that Israel's "next campaign will be very much on the offensive, and we will use all the tools and all capabilities".

"We are intensifying the strikes all the time, and Hezbollah are paying an increasingly heavy price," he said in a statement.

Senior Hezbollah official Hashem Safieddine said on Wednesday that "this aggression... will not go unanswered".

A day earlier, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said that fire from southern Lebanon would end "when the attack on Gaza stops and there is a ceasefire" between the group's Palestinian allies, Hamas and arch-foe Israel.

"If they [Israel] broaden the confrontation, we will do the same," Nasrallah warned.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced on both sides of the border amid soaring regional tensions.

Fears have been growing of another full-blown conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, which last went to war in 2006.


Source: TRT