Lebanon: Israel Says ‘No Escaping a Sharp, Quick War with Hezbollah’

A Lebanese family stands next to a destroyed building that were hit by an Israeli airstrike, in Aita al-Shaab, a Lebanese border village with Israel, south Lebanon, Saturday, June 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)
A Lebanese family stands next to a destroyed building that were hit by an Israeli airstrike, in Aita al-Shaab, a Lebanese border village with Israel, south Lebanon, Saturday, June 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)
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Lebanon: Israel Says ‘No Escaping a Sharp, Quick War with Hezbollah’

A Lebanese family stands next to a destroyed building that were hit by an Israeli airstrike, in Aita al-Shaab, a Lebanese border village with Israel, south Lebanon, Saturday, June 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)
A Lebanese family stands next to a destroyed building that were hit by an Israeli airstrike, in Aita al-Shaab, a Lebanese border village with Israel, south Lebanon, Saturday, June 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Mohammed Zaatari)

Lebanon’s Hezbollah group intensified its strikes on Sunday on military positions in Israel using heavy missiles following Israeli strikes on a Lebanese town in South Lebanon that killed three Hezbollah fighters.
Israeli warplanes flew for the first time at low altitude and broke the sound barrier over Mount Lebanon.
This came in parallel with new Israeli threats voiced by Israel's Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich who said there is no escaping "a sharp, quick war” with Hezbollah.
He said “the war in Lebanon will carry a price, and I don't underestimate it, but any price we pay today will be much smaller than what we will be forced to pay in the future, if we don't act."
Earlier, Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallanthad said that Tel Aviv does not seek a war with Hezbollah but that his army is prepared for one.
On Sunday, Israel said that after surveillance, its warplanes hit a “military” building in the southern Lebanese town of Hula it said was housing Hezbollah fighters.
It also said its forces spotted a fighter entering a military building of Hezbollah in the village of Kfar Kila. Shortly after, its forces bombed it.
Fears over Hezbollah retaliation, the Israeli media said that Israel’s army requested all residents of the Ma’ayan Baruch settlement in north Israel to stay in shelters.
Sirens were sounded in several towns in the Upper Galilee in northern Israel, Yedioth Ahronoth said.
Israel's military said 18 of its soldiers were injured, one of them seriously, when a drone struck their position in the occupied Golan Heights, which border Lebanon.
The Israeli army said in a statement the strike happened earlier on Sunday. It said since then, it had struck Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon with air strikes and artillery fire.
Fighting between Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah has been escalating, after it was triggered by the Gaza war.

 



Israel Carries Out New Raids in Gaza as Netanyahu Visits US 

This picture taken in Khan Younis shows smoke billowing during Israeli military operations in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 24, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (AFP)
This picture taken in Khan Younis shows smoke billowing during Israeli military operations in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 24, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (AFP)
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Israel Carries Out New Raids in Gaza as Netanyahu Visits US 

This picture taken in Khan Younis shows smoke billowing during Israeli military operations in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 24, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (AFP)
This picture taken in Khan Younis shows smoke billowing during Israeli military operations in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on July 24, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas. (AFP)

Israeli forces carried out new raids in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, hours before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was due to address the US Congress.

The latest Israeli attacks destroyed homes in towns east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza and thousands of people were forced to head west to seek shelter, residents said.

The Palestinian Civil Emergency Service said it had received distress calls from residents trapped in their homes in Bani Suhaila, east of Khan Younis, but were unable to reach the town.

Israel's military, which is trying to eradicate the armed group Hamas after the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, said it had been operating in areas from which fighters had been able to fire rockets into Israel and attack Israeli troops.

Gaza health officials said Israeli military strikes in the past 24 hours had killed at least 55 people, the latest casualties in a war that health authorities in the enclave say has killed more than 39,000 Palestinians.

"Where should we go? Shall we cross into the sea?" said Ghada, who has been displaced with her family six times during the war, said from Hamas City in northwestern Khan Younis.

"We are exhausted, starved, and want the war to end now, now not an hour later. Every day means more families are wiped off the registration book," she told Reuters via a chat app.

Local residents said they had been ordered to head west towards a designated humanitarian area, but that the area was now unsafe.

Israeli forces also carried out airstrikes on several areas of central and northern Gaza Strip, killing and wounding several Palestinians, health officials said.

Residents of Rafah, near the border with Egypt, said Israeli forces had blown up several houses in the west of the city.

PALESTINIANS CRITICISE U.S.

Hamas-led fighters triggered the war on Oct. 7 by storming into southern Israel, killing 1,200 people and taking 250 captives, according to Israeli tallies. Some 120 hostages are still being held though Israel believes one in three are dead.

Some Palestinians who gathered at a hospital in Khan Younis before funerals criticized the United States, Israel's most important international ally, for welcoming Netanyahu.

The Israel leader was due to address Congress later on Wednesday and to meet President Joe Biden at the White House on Thursday. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he would meet Netanyahu in Florida on Friday.

"The United States is a main partner in what is happening in Gaza. We are being killed because of the United States. We are being slaughtered by American planes, American ships, American tanks, and American troops," said Kazem Abu Taha, a displaced resident from Rafah.

A senior Hamas official, Sami Abu Zuhri, told Reuters: "The Congress invitation to Netanyahu to make a speech gives legitimacy to the crimes of the war of genocide in Gaza. Receiving a war criminal is a shame to all Americans."

Israel has rejected accusations brought by South Africa at the UN's top court that its military operation in Gaza is a state-led genocide campaign against Palestinians. It has reacted angrily to a decision by the International Criminal Court's prosecutor to seek an arrest warrant against Netanyahu.

Netanyahu said this week a deal to release Israelis held captive in Gaza could be near. But Hamas officials said Netanyahu was stalling and that they had not seen any change in the Israeli stance that would allow an agreement to be reached.

Hamas wants a ceasefire agreement to end the war in Gaza. Netanyahu says the war cannot end before Hamas is eradicated.