The Lebanese-Israeli border is closer to war than it has been thus far in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, as the Palestinian terrorist group claimed responsibility for rockets fired from southern Lebanon at the Israeli city of Kiryat Shemona on Thursday.
Hamas is based in Gaza but also has a presence in Palestinian communities in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and in other countries, including southern Lebanon, as well as in more distant countries like Qatar, where the Hamas leadership resides.
Hezbollah, a proxy of Iran, controls southern Lebanon (and much of the Lebanese government as well). It has threatened to enter the war and has fired on Israeli positions, killing several soldiers and forcing the evacuation of Israel’s northernmost cities. Israel has responded to each incident by striking the Hezbollah position responsible for the fire. It has also launched preemptive strikes on terrorists who have tried to fire rockets or to infiltrate into northern Israel. But thus far, a broader war has not yet erupted.
Israel has said that it will hold Hezbollah responsible for any rocket fire from southern Lebanon. Accordingly, it struck a number of Hezbollah positions on Thursday evening after several Hamas rockets caused significant damage.
The Times of Israel reported:
The Israel Defense Forces says it is carrying out wide-scale airstrikes on Hezbollah sites in southern Lebanon in response to rocket attacks on northern Israel earlier.
The IDF says that among the targets hit so far by fighter jets, tanks, and artillery are military headquarters, rocket launching positions, weapons storage sites, military complexes, and other infrastructure belonging to the terror group.
Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, the spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), published footage of some of the strikes:
מטוסי ומסוקי קרב של צה״ל תוקפים בשעות האחרונות מטרות של ארגון הטרור חיזבאללה בתגובה לירי שבוצע משטח לבנון מוקדם יותר היום, במקביל לתקיפות באמצעות ירי ארטילרי וטנקים של צה״ל >> pic.twitter.com/adBjpC1WiI
— דובר צה״ל דניאל הגרי – Daniel Hagari (@IDFSpokesperson) November 2, 2023
In a statement on Telegram, the IDF stated: “The IDF holds the Hezbollah terrorist organization responsible for the current situation in Lebanon.”
The U.S. has moved two aircraft carriers to the eastern Mediterranean in an effort to deter Iran from opening a northern front.
Meanwhile, in Gaza, the IDF said that it is on the outskirts of the city, a major hub in the northern Gaza Strip.
Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, Chief of the General Staff, said in a statement: “IDF soldiers have been operating in Gaza City and are encircling it from several different directions increasing our entries, as well as our achievements.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.