Rocket fire from Lebanon kills two in annexed Golan Heights


Israeli police said two people were killed by rocket fire in the annexed Golan Heights, the latest victims of months of cross-border clashes between Lebanon's Hezbollah and Israeli forces.

The deaths came after a Syria war monitor said an Israeli strike in the country killed two people, with a source close to Iran-backed Hezbollah saying a former bodyguard to the group's leader died in the raid, and the militant group announcing retaliatory fire.

Hezbollah since October has traded almost daily cross-border fire from Lebanon with the Israeli army in support of Gaza, with Israel targeting operatives from the group in both Lebanon and neighboring Syria.

The Israeli military said Tuesday that "approximately 40 projectiles crossed from Lebanon into the area of the central Golan Heights. Several projectiles were identified falling in the area."

Haim Biton, superintendent of the Golan police station, said that "as a result of the hit, a man and woman were killed instantly", indicating their vehicle had been subject to a direct hit.

He said that firefighters were battling several blazes that had broken out in the area.

Hezbollah had said it launched "dozens of Katyusha rockets" at an Israeli military base in the Golan Heights "in response to the attack and assassination that the Israeli enemy carried out... on the Damascus-Beirut Road".

Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said earlier Tuesday that "at least two people were killed and one was wounded in an Israeli drone strike on a Hezbollah car" near a Syrian army checkpoint close to the border with Lebanon.

A source close to the Iran-backed group, requesting anonymity, told AFP that a former bodyguard to Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah was killed in the strike, identifying him by the surname of Qranbash.

Hezbollah in a statement announced the death of a fighter with the same surname.

Also Tuesday, Hezbollah released a video showing aerial surveillance footage it said was taken over intelligence and military positions in the Golan Heights.

Israel seized the territory from Syria in 1967 and later annexed it in a move largely unrecognized by the international community.

Israeli strikes have killed at least 25 Hezbollah fighters in Syria since the Gaza war erupted.

In Lebanon, the cross-border violence since October 7 has killed nearly 500 people, mostly fighters but also including 95 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

On the Israeli side, at least 29 people have been killed, the majority of them soldiers, according to the authorities.

Comments 1
Thumb chrisrushlau 12 July 2024, 20:16

Hezbullah rocket fire is random--you can't aim Katyusha rockets--but Israel's political system is also random--how do you know who is Jewish?