Israeli strikes kill Hezbollah fighter as violence on Lebanon border grows

War planes attacked a house in Bint Jbeil, killing three people, Lebanon’s state media says.

People check the rubble of a building in Bint Jbeil in southern Lebanon near the border with Israel, following Israeli bombardment the previous night, on December 27, 2023
People check the rubble of a building in Bint Jbeil in southern Lebanon near the border with Israel [AFP]

An Israeli air attack on a south Lebanon border town has killed three people.

The bombing late on Tuesday targeted a house in the town of Bint Jbeil, killing a Hezbollah fighter and two relatives, according to the Iranian-linked Lebanese armed group.

The strikes followed a series of attacks by Hezbollah on Israeli posts close to the border. The border area between Lebanon and Israel has seen escalating exchanges of fire since the Israeli-Gaza war began on October 7.

Lebanon’s National News Agency (NNA) on Wednesday identified those killed as Ali Bazzi, his brother Ibrahim and sister-in-law Shourouk Hammoud.

“Enemy warplanes raided, before midnight (22:00 GMT), a house … in the centre of the town of Bint Jbeil”, about 2km (1.2 miles) from the border, killing the three and injuring another family member, NNA said.

A relative told the AFP news agency that Ibrahim Bazzi was an Australian citizen who had flown in for a visit about a week ago. Hezbollah announced that Ali Bazzi was one of its fighters.

The recent rise in violence between Israel and Hezbollah has been largely confined to the border area, although Israel has conducted limited air raids deeper into Lebanese territory.

“This is the first time Bint Jbeil has been hit since 2006,” reported Al Jazeera’s Ali Hashem from the town. “But seven other southern Lebanese towns are being hit on a daily basis by Israeli warplanes. It’s a war zone.”

Israel has been pushing for Hezbollah to withdraw north of the Litani River, which lies about 30km (20 miles) north of the border.

On Tuesday, Israel’s military said an antitank missile fired by the Iran-backed armed group injured nine soldiers as they went to assist a civilian injured in an earlier attack.

On Wednesday, Israel’s army radio and media reported that 18 missiles had been fired at northeast Israel from the Lebanese border.

The Israeli military shot down eight of the missiles heading towards the Rosh Hanikra kibbutz as sirens sounded in the area. The attacks caused no injuries or damage, the reports said.

Since hostilities began, more than 150 people have been killed on the Lebanese side, most of them Hezbollah fighters, but also more than a dozen civilians, three of them journalists.

On the Israeli side, at least four civilians and nine soldiers have been killed since October 7, according to figures from the military.

Source: AFP