Again, Israel strikes Gaza, southern Lebanon
Israeli forces on Friday struck Hamas targets in Gaza and southern Lebanon, days after they stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
Several rockets were fired into Israeli territory from Lebanon hours prior to the strikes, which the Israeli military later attributed to Palestinian militants.
The barrage from Lebanon was the heaviest since the two nations’ war in 2006, and it stoked worries about a wider regional escalation.
Two Israeli sisters were killed and their mother was seriously injured in a shooting attack in the occupied West Bank on Friday, according to Israeli officials.
Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, the international spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), stated on Friday that the Israeli attacks on southern Lebanon were primarily directed at Palestinian targets in the region where they believe the rockets were launched into Israel.
Three Israeli strikes reportedly hit an open area in the Tyr region, according to the Hezbollah-backed Al-Manar news outlet. The area was primarily agricultural and there were reports of damage to residences, automobiles, a livestock pen, and other infrastructure.
“IDF will not allow the Hamas terrorist organization to operate from within Lebanon and holds the state of Lebanon responsible for every directed fire emanating from its territory,” the IDF said in a statement.
Lebanon said it would submit an official complaint to the UN Security Council, calling Israel’s strikes a “flagrant violation of Lebanon’s sovereignty.”
Hamas also condemned the strikes in a statement Friday, and expressed “solidarity with the Lebanese people.” In a separate statement, it condemned Israel’s strikes on the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health said a children’s hospital in Gaza City was damaged by the Israeli strikes, distressing the young patients inside.
“This is not the first time that health facilities have been targeted, and it is unacceptable,” the ministry added in a statement.
Hecht said the Israeli strikes targeted 10 sites in Gaza, including production sites and research and development sites as well as tunnel infrastructure.
In earlier statements, the IDF said it hit several Hamas weapons manufacturing sites, an underground weapons complex, and “terror” tunnels in Beit Hanoun and Khan Yunis.
“Nobody wants an escalation right now. Everybody’s talking to everyone. There’s a lot of messaging going through political spheres to try to de-escalate it” he added.
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