Israeli Strike in Southern Lebanon Kills 2 People Near Hospital, Officials Say 

Smoke rises on the Israeli side of its border with Lebanon following a rocket that was launched from Lebanon and fired towards Israel, amid ongoing cross-border hostilities between Hezbollah and Israeli forces, in northern Israel, May 26, 2024. (Reuters)
Smoke rises on the Israeli side of its border with Lebanon following a rocket that was launched from Lebanon and fired towards Israel, amid ongoing cross-border hostilities between Hezbollah and Israeli forces, in northern Israel, May 26, 2024. (Reuters)
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Israeli Strike in Southern Lebanon Kills 2 People Near Hospital, Officials Say 

Smoke rises on the Israeli side of its border with Lebanon following a rocket that was launched from Lebanon and fired towards Israel, amid ongoing cross-border hostilities between Hezbollah and Israeli forces, in northern Israel, May 26, 2024. (Reuters)
Smoke rises on the Israeli side of its border with Lebanon following a rocket that was launched from Lebanon and fired towards Israel, amid ongoing cross-border hostilities between Hezbollah and Israeli forces, in northern Israel, May 26, 2024. (Reuters)

An Israeli strike targeting a motorcycle in southern Lebanon hit next to a hospital entrance Monday, killing the motorcycle driver and a hospital security guard and wounding several civilians nearby, local health officials said.

It was not immediately clear who the driver was or why he was targeted in the strike in the town of Bint Jbeil.

The Israeli army did not give a statement on the strike but said it had targeted other areas of southern Lebanon in response to “terrorist launches.”

The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah has been exchanging strikes with Israeli forces in the border area almost daily since Oct. 8, a day after the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza began.

Mohammed Suleiman, director of the Salah Ghandour Hospital in Bint Jbeil, said they had initially received one person killed and nine wounded in the strike, most of whom were “civilians who were in front of the hospital, where family members and people accompanying the patients usually gather.”

Hospital officials later said that a security guard who was wounded in the strike had died.

The strike also caused minor damage to the hospital, an Associated Press photographer at the scene said.

Hezbollah later said it had launched a barrage of dozens of missiles at Meron, Safsufa and Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel in response.

Israeli strikes have killed more than 400 people in Lebanon since the war in Gaza began, most of them militants with Hezbollah and allied groups but also including more than 70 civilians and non-combatants. On the Israeli side, strikes from Lebanon have killed 15 soldiers and 10 civilians.

The clashes have displaced tens of thousands on each side of the border. Israeli officials have said they may launch an offensive in Lebanon if no diplomatic solution is reached that would allow the displaced to return.

The Israeli military said Monday that its reservists had in recent weeks “conducted a division-level and brigade-level exercise that simulated ground operations in Lebanon."

Hezbollah legislator Hassan Fadlallah, who visited the site of the strike in Bint Jbeil, said that Israel “will not be able to return settlers (residents) to the north in this way.”

“The only way to stop everything that is happening in the region today and on the border with Lebanon is to stop the aggression against Gaza,” he said.

Western countries, in particular the US and France, have come forward with a series of proposals for a cessation of hostilities on the Lebanon-Israel border. Hezbollah has refused to enter into an agreement until a ceasefire is implemented in Gaza.

Initially, the proposals stipulated that Hezbollah would move its forces several kilometers away from the border, but a French diplomatic official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing negotiations said the latest proposal has abandoned this idea as Hezbollah would not agree to it unless Israel also halted its overflights in Lebanese airspace.

Instead, the new proposal would rely on a strengthened presence of the official Lebanese army and UNIFIL peacekeeping forces in southern Lebanon to enforce the cessation of hostilities, with a long-term aim of negotiations for demarcation of the land border between Lebanon and Israel.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was expected to arrive in Beirut on a diplomatic visit Tuesday.



Israeli Strike Kills ‘al-Jamaa al-Islamiya’ Leader in Eastern Lebanon

Emergency and security service members and residents gather around the carcass of a car at the site of an Israeli strike in al-Khiyara town in Lebanon's Western Bekaa area on June 22, 2024, which killed a member of the Jamaa Islamiya group according to a Lebanese security source. (Photo by Hassan JARRAH / AFP)
Emergency and security service members and residents gather around the carcass of a car at the site of an Israeli strike in al-Khiyara town in Lebanon's Western Bekaa area on June 22, 2024, which killed a member of the Jamaa Islamiya group according to a Lebanese security source. (Photo by Hassan JARRAH / AFP)
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Israeli Strike Kills ‘al-Jamaa al-Islamiya’ Leader in Eastern Lebanon

Emergency and security service members and residents gather around the carcass of a car at the site of an Israeli strike in al-Khiyara town in Lebanon's Western Bekaa area on June 22, 2024, which killed a member of the Jamaa Islamiya group according to a Lebanese security source. (Photo by Hassan JARRAH / AFP)
Emergency and security service members and residents gather around the carcass of a car at the site of an Israeli strike in al-Khiyara town in Lebanon's Western Bekaa area on June 22, 2024, which killed a member of the Jamaa Islamiya group according to a Lebanese security source. (Photo by Hassan JARRAH / AFP)

A security source said a leader of the Lebanese militant group al-Jamaa al-Islamiya was killed Saturday in an Israeli strike on a vehicle in eastern Lebanon.
Since the Israel-Hamas war broke out on October 7, Hezbollah and other groups allied with the Palestinian Hamas group have traded near-daily fire with Israel across the southern border.
"A leader of the al-Fajr Forces of the al-Jamaa al-Islamiya, Ayman Ghotmeh, was killed in an Israeli strike in Khiara in the western Bekaa," 10 kilometers (six miles) from the border with Syria, the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The Fajr Forces, al-Jamaa al-Islamiya's armed wing, was established in 1982 to fight the Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
The group has claimed responsibility for multiple attacks against Israel, including joint operations with Hamas in Lebanon. It is estimated to number around 500 men.
Lebanon's state-run ANI news agency reported one person killed when a car was targeted in Khiara, and that the victim was from the nearby village of Lala, without giving further details.
Israel's military said an aircraft carried out a "precise strike in the Beqaa area in Lebanon in order to eliminate the terrorist" Ayman Ghotmeh, who they said supplied weapons to Hamas and al-Jamaa al-Islamiya in Lebanon.
He was targeted for his "involvement in the promotion and execution of terrorist activities against Israel", the Israeli statement added.
Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya, which has had seven fighters killed in Lebanon since October 7, did not immediately announce any deaths.
On April 26, the group said two of their leaders were killed in an Israeli strike in eastern Lebanon.
More than eight months of violence on the Israel-Lebanon border has left at least 480 people dead in Lebanon, mostly fighters but including at least 93 civilians, according to an AFP tally.
On the Israeli side, at least 15 soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed, according to Israeli authorities.
Heightened tensions in recent days on the Israel-Lebanon border have raised fears of an expanded regional conflict.