Hizbullah promises to retaliate after 10 civilians die in Israeli airstrikes

Hizbullah said it carried out its ‘initial response’ by firing ‘tens of Katyusha rockets’ on the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona

The civilian death toll from two Israeli airstrikes in Lebanon has risen to 10, Lebanese state media reported on Thursday, making the previous day the deadliest one in more than four months of cross-border exchanges.

The Lebanese militant group Hizbullah has vowed to retaliate for the strikes, that hit the city of Nabatiyeh and a village in southern Lebanon, just hours after projectiles from Lebanon killed an Israeli soldier.

On Thursday evening, Hizbullah said it carried out its “initial response” by firing “tens of Katyusha rockets” on the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona.

There was no immediate word on casualties from the town, where most residents have joined the tens of thousands who have fled the area since the fighting began in October.


More Israeli strikes were reported in south Lebanon on Thursday and Lebanon’s caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati condemned the escalation.

He said in a statement: “At a time when we are insisting on calm and call on all sides not to escalate, we find the Israeli enemy extending its aggression.”

The Israeli military said Thursday’s strikes targeted Hizbullah infrastructure and launch posts.

Lebanese state media said Israel’s air force carried out strikes near the border towns of Labbouneh, Wadi Slouqi, Majdal Selm and Houla, according to the Lebanese state-run National News Agency, or NNA.

The Israeli army would continue to respond to Hizbullah’s regular attacks, said spokesperson Avi Hyman from Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office.

They said: “Our message to Hizbullah has and always will be: Don’t try us.”

In Nabatiyeh, the strike knocked down part of a building, killing seven members of the same family, including a child, the state-run National News Agency said.

A boy initially reported missing was found alive under the rubble. Initial reports had said four people were killed.

In the village of Souaneh, a woman and her two young children were killed.

The Lebanese civilian death toll included six women and three children. Three Hizbullah fighters were also killed on Wednesday.

The fire from Lebanon earlier on Wednesday struck the northern Israeli town of Safed, killing a woman Israeli soldier and wounding eight people.

The fatalities marked a significant escalation in more than four months of daily cross-border exchanges triggered by the October 7th outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

The war began with the surprise attack in southern Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, an ally of Hizbullah.

Government institutions, schools and the Lebanese University were to close on Thursday in protest at the airstrikes. – AP