Published: 17:19, June 17, 2024
Israel warns of escalation from cross-border fire from Hezbollah
By Reuters
Smoke billows from fires ignited by Israeli shelling on the forested areas of the southern Lebanese village of Deir Mimas on June 15, 2024, amid ongoing cross-border clashes between Israeli troops and Hezbollah fighters. (PHOTO / AFP)

JERUSALEM - Intensified cross-border fire from Lebanon's Hezbollah movement into Israel could trigger serious escalation, the Israeli military said on Sunday.

"Hezbollah’s increasing aggression is bringing us to the brink of what could be a wider escalation, one that could have devastating consequences for Lebanon and the entire region," Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in a video statement in English.

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Iran-backed Hezbollah last week launched the largest volleys of rockets and drones yet in the eight months it has been exchanging fire with the Israeli military, in parallel with the Gaza war.

An Israeli soldier checks a house that was hit by a Hezbollah rocket in Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel near the Lebanon border, on June 16, 2024, amid ongoing cross-border clashes between Israeli troops and Hezbollah fighters. (PHOTO / AFP)

After the relatively heavy exchanges over the past week, Sunday saw a marked drop in Hezbollah fire, while the Israeli military said that it had carried out several air strikes against the group in southern Lebanon.

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The US and France are working on a negotiated settlement to the hostilities along Lebanon's southern border. Hezbollah says it will not halt fire unless Israel stops its military offensive on Gaza.

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"Israel will take the necessary measures to protect its civilians — until security along our border with Lebanon is restored," Hagari said.