BEIRUT: Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group fired dozens of rockets at military posts in northern Israel on Thursday, a day after an Israeli airstrike on a home in southern Lebanon killed five of the group’s senior fighters, including the son of a Hezbollah MP who leads the party’s bloc in parliament.
The attacks were among the most intense since the conflict on Lebanon’s southern border began on Oct. 8.
Israeli fighter jets on Wednesday night targeted a house in Beit Yahoun, a village in the Bint Jbeil district, 105 km from Beirut, killing several leaders of Al-Radwan, an elite Hezbollah unit.
Abbas Raad, the son of MP Mohammed Raad, was among the victims.
Hezbollah said that it launched Katyusha rockets and guided missiles at more than 14 Israeli sites and military posts in response.
Meanwhile, villages and towns situated away from the Blue Line held funerals for the militant group’s victims.
Political and religious figures expressed sympathy over the death of Raad’s son.
Hezbollah targeted an Israeli infantry units at the Al-Dhaira site and in Jal Al-Alam, opposite Al-Naqoura.
It also attacked outposts at Birkat Risha and Metula, an Israeli infantry deployment in the Sa’saa settlement, a tank division at Al-Raheb, and launched 48 Katyusha rockets at the headquarters of the 3rd Infantry Brigade of the 91st Division.
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah earlier demanded a “civilian for a civilian” response following an Israeli bombardment that killed two civilians.
A source close to Hezbollah said that “this equation also applies to military men — for each Hezbollah member, an Israeli military man of the same rank and importance.”
The death of a Hezbollah fighter on Thursday brought the number killed to 78.
Hashim Safi Al-Din, head of Hezbollah’s executive council, said: “The resistance has proven that it is strong, and no one can crush it.”
He added: “All we sought in this battle, and what our resistance and martyrs tried to say is that we want to put an end to the injustice of the oppressed in Gaza, and tell the resistance, the people of Gaza and the whole world that these oppressed people are not alone.”
Sirens sounded several times in wide areas in the Galilee Panhandle and Upper Galilee areas.
The Israeli army said that 35 rockets launched from Lebanon were intercepted by air defenses.
Israeli troops raided the Al-Olleik region on the outskirts of the Al-Bustan–Yarin villages, and also shelled the outskirts of Tayr Harfa village, while Israeli missiles landed near Rmaych, Yaroun and Ain Ebel
Israel also attacked an anti-tank squad in southern Lebanon with artillery, according to a statement by Israeli army spokesperson Avichay Adraee.
He said that Hezbollah launched anti-tank missiles and mortars toward border regions.
An Israeli drone on Wednesday night targeted a motorcycle in Naqoura village, severely injuring two men.
Tensions continue to rise in border villages and towns, as Israel widens its attacks.
A reporter in the region told Arab News that “any moving body at any moment has become a target for the Israeli enemy, prompting remaining residents to flee.”
Hezbollah’s military media unit claimed that Israeli army casualties have risen to 354 in 45 days of operations.
“Five settlements and 21 Israeli army vehicles were targeted, including Merkava tanks, armored vehicles and troop transport vehicles, and over 275 attacks were carried out against up to 40 sites using different weapons,” it added.