Jerusalem: Amid escalating skirmishes on the Israel-Lebanon border, the Jewish nation’s military announced that it has “operation plans” to fight against armed groups in the neighbouring country to restore calm.
In a statement late Sunday, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesman Daniel Hagari said that warplanes carried out airstrikes in southern Lebanon and artillery was fired toward the areas from where rockets were launched, reports Xinhua news agency.
“We have operation plans to change the security situation in the north,” Hagari told a daily press briefing.
“There is no way that the residents of the north will not be able to return to their homes.”
He warned that “the citizens of Lebanon will pay the price” for the rocket attacks that have been carried out from Lebanon by the Hezbollah and Hamas militant groups.
Earlier on Sunday, missiles and anti-tank rockets were launched from Lebanon towards the Krayot area, north of Haifa, and a community near the border.
According to Israel’s Magen David Adom rescue service, a total of 18 civilians and soldiers were injured, one with critical injuries.
Lebanese military sources told Xinhua that one Hezbollah militant was killed and four civilians were injured in the country’s southern border village of Yarine in fighting with Israeli forces on Sunday.
The sources said that Israel’s heavy artillery bombed seven towns in southwestern Lebanon and 17 in the southeast, destroying over 30 houses, and warplanes and drones raided the outskirts of 18 southern towns.
Hezbollah said it launched rockets and artillery attacks on three Israeli barracks and 10 other sites facing southern Lebanon.
The militant’s death brings the total number of casualties on the Lebanese side since October 8 to 97 — 76 Hezbollah terrorists; a member of the Amal Movement; nine Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants; and 11 civilians, including a photojournalist.
The Lebanon-Israel border witnessed increased tension for five weeks after Hezbollah fired dozens of rockets toward Israel on October 8 in support of the unprecedented Hamas attacks on southern Israel the previous day.
This prompted the Israeli forces to respond by firing heavy artillery toward several areas in southeastern Lebanon.