Hezbollah fires more projectiles at Israel as potential for ‘total war’ grows

Lebanon’s Hezbollah fired a fresh barrage of projectiles into northern Israel on Wednesday, the Israeli army said, a day after Israel warned of a “total war” with the Iran-backed militant group.

Hezbollah, a Hamas ally, and Israel have been trading near-daily fire since the Gaza war was triggered by the Palestinian militant group’s October 7 attack on southern Israel.

“Approximately 15 projectiles were identified from Lebanon toward the area of Kiryat Shmona, several of which were intercepted by IDF (army) aerial defence array,” the military said in a statement.

“IDF artillery struck the sources of fire,” it said, adding the incoming fire did not cause any casualties.

The military said its warplanes also struck a Hezbollah military structure in the area of Tyre and infrastructure in Khiam in Lebanon.

Hezbollah said on Wednesday it fired “dozens of Katyusha rockets and artillery rounds” at a barracks in Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel in retaliation for the “Israeli enemy attacks” on Yarun and Khiam.

Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system intercepts projectiles fired from southern Lebanon on Wednesday. Photo: EPA-EFE

Lebanon’s official National News agency reported Israeli strikes on several areas in south Lebanon on Wednesday, including on the villages of Yarun and Khiam.

The Shiite Muslim movement, which also claimed a drone attack on troops in Metula in northern Israel, said four of its fighters had been killed.

The clashes came a day after the Israeli military said it had approved operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon.

“As part of the situational assessment, operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon were approved and validated,” the military said in a statement.

The approval came as Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz warned Hezbollah on Tuesday that it would be destroyed in the event of a “total war” between the two.

“We are very close to the moment when we will decide to change the rules of the game against Hezbollah and Lebanon,” he said in a statement issued by his office.

Smoke billows from fires ignited by Israeli shelling on the forested areas of southern Lebanon amid ongoing cross-border clashes between Israeli troops and Hezbollah fighters. Photo: AFP

“In a total war, Hezbollah will be destroyed and Lebanon will be hit hard.”

The latest tit-for-tat comes as US presidential envoy Amos Hochstein visited Israel and Lebanon this week, calling for an “urgent” de-escalation on the border.

The Israel-Lebanon clashes have killed at least 478 people in Lebanon, most of them fighters but also including 93 civilians, according to an Agence France-Presse tally.

Israeli authorities say at least 15 soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed in the country’s north.



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