Hezbollah says cross-border 'skirmishes' only a 'warning'


Cross-border clashes between armed factions in Lebanon and Israel intensified Sunday, with Hezbollah firing rockets and Israeli forces responding with shelling.

The Israeli army also reported a shooting at one of its border posts. The fighting has killed at least one person on the Israeli side and wounded several on both sides of the border.

Iran-backed Hezbollah, an ally of Gaza's Hamas rulers and an archenemy of Israel, said in a statement that it had fired rockets towards an Israeli military position in the northern border town Shtula in retaliation for Israeli shelling that killed Reuters videographer Issam Abdallah on Friday and two Lebanese civilians on Saturday.

However, a Hezbollah spokeswoman, Rana Sahili, said Sunday's increase in the intensity of the exchanges doesn't indicate Hezbollah has decided to fully enter into the Hamas-Israel war. The fighting on the border is “only skirmishes” and represents a “warning,” she said.

Israeli army spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that regardless who was shooting at Israel from across the northern border, “the country of Lebanon is responsible and will continue to be responsible for the fire that comes from its territory.”

The Israeli military has said the incident that killed the Reuters videographer was “under review.”

After Hezbollah fired at several locations along the border Friday, including with an anti-tank missile that hit the Israeli-built security fence, Israeli soldiers “suspected a terrorist infiltration into Israeli territory, and in response, used tank and artillery fire to prevent the infiltration,” a military statement said.

“A number of hours later, a report was received that during the incident, journalists were injured in the area,” the statement said.

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