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Israel Strikes Near Hezbollah Funeral In Lebanon

The frontier between Lebanon and Israel has seen regular exchanges of fire, mainly between the Israeli army and Hamas ally Hezbollah, since the conflict in the Gaza Strip began on October 7.


A picture taken from a position in northern Israel along the border with Lebanon, shows smoke billowing following Israeli bombardment on hills close to the town of Marwahin in southern Lebanon on December 16, 2023. (Photo by jalaa marey / AFP)

 

An Israeli strike hit a building opposite a Hezbollah fighter’s funeral procession in southern Lebanon on Monday without causing casualties, official media reported.

The frontier between Lebanon and Israel has seen regular exchanges of fire, mainly between the Israeli army and Hamas ally Hezbollah, since the conflict in the Gaza Strip began on October 7.

Israel “targeted people who were participating in the funeral procession” of Hezbollah fighter Hassan Srur in the border town of Aita al-Shaab, the National News Agency (NNA) reported.

The strike hit a building less than 40 metres (130 feet) from the procession, causing damage but no casualties, the agency said, adding that “the Israeli enemy was trying to intimidate hundreds” of mourners, who nonetheless continued with the ceremony.

An AFP correspondent who later arrived at the scene said the strike hit the top of an uninhabited building.

Not long after, artillery shells also fell near the funeral procession for another Hezbollah fighter in Beit Lif, a few kilometres further north, the correspondent said.

The Gaza war began with the unprecedented Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 that killed 1,139 people, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

Its retaliatory ground and air offensive has killed more than 18,800 in Gaza, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

It has also raised fears of a regional conflagration.

More than 130 people have been killed by Israeli strikes in Lebanon, mostly Hezbollah fighters but also a Lebanese soldier and 17 civilians, including three journalists, according to an AFP tally.

Hezbollah said Sunday that three of its members had been killed, without specifying where or when.

On the Israeli side, four civilians and seven soldiers have been killed, according to officials.

Iran-backed Hezbollah says it is acting in support of Hamas, while residents of south Lebanon say Israel’s retaliatory bombardments have increased in intensity.

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna was meeting with senior officials in Beirut on Monday, a day after visiting Israel and the occupied West Bank, as part of efforts to de-escalate the situation on the border.