Conflicts & War

Israeli soldier killed in fight with Hezbollah, border with Lebanon sealed off

Jerusalem, Oct 16 (EFE).- Israel said on Monday that an army officer was killed during anti-tank missile attacks launched from Lebanon against the Nurit military post in the country.

Lebanese Shiite militia group Hezbollah claimed the attack that was launched late on Sunday.

In a separate incident on Sunday, an Israeli civilian in his 40s was also killed in a missile attack on the city of Shtula, also carried out by Hezbollah.

The Shiite group, which controls southern Lebanon and fought a war with Israel in 2006, launched six anti-tank missiles and nine rockets into Israeli territory on Sunday.

The Israeli army responded to the attacks with air strikes and artillery fire on Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon amid an escalation of tension, the most serious at the border since 2006.

Sunday’s attacks prompted the Israeli army to declare a 4-kilometer-wide (2.5 miles) bordering area a closed zone and order all civilians living within 2 kilometers of the border to stay near protected sites.

The residents of this strip, which includes 28 inhabited areas, will be rehoused in public hostels, the Israeli defense ministry announced.

An evacuation of this magnitude has not been seen since Israel’s war with Lebanon in 2006.

Amid the conflict, a rocket hit the headquarters of the UN peacekeeping mission UNIFIL in Lebanon in the southern town of Naquora on Sunday.

The UN mission said it was investigating the origin of the rocket but reported no causalities due to its impact.

Since Oct. 8, a day after Palestinian Islamist group Hamas launched an attack on southern Israel, Israeli forces and Hezbollah have been engaged in cross-attacks at the Lebanon border.

Palestinian factions present in Lebanese territory have also claimed some of these attacks.

The Israeli foreign ministry said that, acting on Iran’s instructions, Hezbollah was trying to increase pressure on Israel to distract it from the war against Hamas in the south.

The fight between Israel and Lebanese groups has left a total of 17 dead — five in Israel, including four soldiers and one civilian — and at least 12 in Lebanon, including three civilians.

The civilian causalty in Lebanon includes a cameraman for the Reuters agency, while four members of Hezbollah and five members of Palestinian militias are reported to have been killed. EFE


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