Israel Palestine Conflict

Israeli strike kills three Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon

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An Israeli drone strike killed three Hezbollah fighters in south Lebanon on Saturday, security sources in Lebanon said, the latest to die in months of cross-border hostilities that have been fought in parallel to the Gaza war.

The men were killed when the car they were in was targeted on a coastal road near the town of Naqoura at around 8:30 a.m. (0630 GMT), the sources said. One of the men was a weapons technician, one of the sources said.

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The Israeli army said one of its aircraft had struck a vehicle in south Lebanon transporting “a number of terrorists who launched rockets into Israeli territory.”

Israeli strikes since October have killed more than 200 Hezbollah fighters and some 50 civilians in Lebanon, while attacks from Lebanon into Israel have killed a dozen Israeli soldiers and five civilians. Tens of thousands of Israelis and Lebanese have fled villages on both sides of the frontier.

Hezbollah said it carried out an attack on an Israeli military headquarters in the village of Liman using an explosive drone at 5:40 a.m. (0340 GMT) on Saturday, reporting a direct hit.

The Israeli army said its jets struck “Hezbollah terrorist infrastructure” in the Labbouneh area at the Israeli border on Saturday, in addition to two Hezbollah military compounds hit overnight in another frontier area.

Like the Palestinian group Hamas, Hezbollah is an ally of Iran. It says its campaign at the border aims to support Palestinians under Israeli fire in the Gaza Strip.

Hezbollah signaled this week that it would halt its attacks if Israel’s Gaza offensive stops, but it is also ready to keep on fighting if the Gaza war continues. On Friday, Hezbollah announced the deaths of four members killed in Lebanon.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant last Sunday indicated that Israel planned to increase attacks on Hezbollah in the event of a Gaza ceasefire, but was open to a diplomatic deal to withdraw Hezbollah fighters from the border.

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Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati told Reuters on Thursday a halt to fighting in Gaza as early as next week would trigger indirect talks to end hostilities at the border.

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