| 16 July 2024, Tuesday |

Lebanon front with Israel heats up, stoking fears of wider war

After weeks of increasing violence along the Israeli-Lebanese border, worries about an expanding battle between Israel and Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese group, have grown as a result of rising deaths on both sides and a verbal spat.

Two persons were killed by Israeli attacks in south Lebanon on Monday, according to a first-responder organization connected to the Amal Movement, which is aligned with Hezbollah.

Several employees of the Israel Electric Company were injured by a Hezbollah rocket attack on Sunday, and one of them passed away on Monday, according to the company.

Hezbollah has been trading fire with Israeli forces since its Palestinian ally Hamas went to war with Israel on Oct. 7.

The exchanges mark the deadliest violence at the border since Israel and Hezbollah fought a month-long war in 2006. So far, more than 70 Hezbollah fighters and 10 civilians have been killed in Lebanon, and 10 people including seven troops have been killed in Israel. Thousands more on both sides have fled shelling.

Until now, violence has largely been confined within a band of territory on either side of the border.

Israel has said it does not want war on its northern front as it seeks to crush Hamas in the Gaza Strip, while sources familiar with Hezbollah’s thinking said its attacks have been designed to keep Israel forces busy while avoiding all-out war.

The United States has said it doesn’t want conflict to spread around the region, sending two aircraft carriers to the area to deter Iran from getting involved. But that has not stopped the escalating rhetoric from Hezbollah and Israel.

  • Reuters