You are here

Israel strike kills three in south Lebanon — state media

By AFP - Dec 28,2023 - Last updated at Dec 28,2023

This photo taken from a position along the border in northern Israel on Wednesday, shows smoke billowing in the southern Lebanese village of Marwahin following Israeli bombardment amid ongoing cross-border tensions (AFP photo)

BEIRUT — An Israeli strike in south Lebanon killed a Hizbollah fighter, the group said Wednesday, as state media reported two of his relatives were also killed and the Iran-backed movement launched rockets in retaliation.

The border between Lebanon and Israel has seen escalating exchanges of fire, mainly between the Israeli forces and Hamas ally Hizbollah, since the Israeli war on Gaza began on October 7, raising fears of a broader conflagration.

"Enemy warplanes raided, before midnight [22:00 GMT], a house... in the centre of the town of Bint Jbeil," around two kilometres from the border, killing a man, his brother and his wife, Lebanon's National News Agency (NNA) said.

The NNA identified the dead as Ali Bazzi, his brother Ibrahim and his wife Shourouk Hammoud, and said another family member was wounded.

Hizbollah later announced that Ali Bazzi was one of its fighters.

A relative told AFP that Ibrahim Bazzi was an Australian citizen who had flown in for a visit about a week earlier.

At the funeral procession in Bint Jbeil on Wednesday, an AFP photographer saw three coffins draped in Hizbollah flags.

Hassan Fadlallah, a lawmaker from the Iran-backed group, told the ceremony that "no crime against civilians will pass without the enemy paying the price".

Hizbollah later Wednesday said it launched a barrage of 30 Katyusha rockets towards Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel "in response to the enemy's repeated crimes and its targeting of civilian houses in Bint Jbeil".

Since the cross-border hostilities began, more than 150 people have been killed on the Lebanese side, most of them Hezbollah combatants but also more than 20 civilians, three of them journalists, according to an AFP tally.

On the Israeli side, at least four civilians and nine soldiers have been killed, according to figures from the military. 


 'Suicide drones' 


Exchanges of fire have been largely confined to the border area, although Israel has conducted limited strikes deeper into Lebanese territory.

Hizbollah said on Wednesday it carried out a series of other attacks on Israeli forces and positions, including one on the contested Shebaa Farms involving “suicide drones”, missiles and artillery.

The Israeli forces said in a statement that “a number of launches were identified crossing from Lebanon towards various areas in northern Israel”, adding that the army struck the sources of fire and “additional areas in Lebanon”.

It also said “fighter jets” struck “terrorist infrastructure, as well as Hizbollah military sites”. 

Lebanon’s NNA reported Israeli strikes in various areas along the southern border.

On Tuesday, Israel’s military said an anti-tank missile fired by the Shiite Muslim group wounded nine soldiers as they went to assist a civilian wounded in an earlier strike.

Israel has been pushing for Hizbollah to withdraw north of the Litani River, which lies about 30 kilometres north of the border.

UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended a 2006 war between Israel and Hizbollah, called for the removal of armed personnel south of the Litani, except for UN peacekeepers and the Lebanese army and state security forces.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati said last week that Lebanon was ready to implement international resolutions that would help end Hizbollah’s cross-border attacks if Israel also complies and withdraws from disputed territory.


69 users have voted.


Get top stories and blog posts emailed to you each day.