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Hezbollah retaliates with rocket barrage after Israel kills five in Lebanon

Hezbollah retaliates with rocket barrage after Israel kills five in Lebanon
Photo Credit - AFP

Lebanon's Hezbollah group said it launched dozens of rockets at northern Israel on Sunday, in response to Israeli air strikes that killed five people, including three of its fighters, in southern Lebanon a day earlier.

The Iran-backed group said it targeted the Israeli village of Meron, which hosts a major air control base, with "dozens of katyusha-type rockets" early in the morning.

Israel's military said it intercepted some of the rockets and struck back at Hezbollah positions in Lebanon, adding that there were no casualties or damage on the Israeli side.

The cross-border violence was the latest escalation between the two enemies, who have been trading fire almost daily since the Israel-Hamas war erupted on October 7.

Hezbollah said it was avenging the deaths of its members and civilians who were killed on Saturday when Israel bombed a house in the village of Khirbet Selm, near the border.

The Lebanese National News Agency said a woman and another person were also killed in the same strike, while several others were wounded.

Hezbollah identified the three fighters as Hassan Hussein, his wife Ruwaida Mustafa, and their 25-year-old son Ali Hussein, who were buried in their hometown of Houla on Saturday.

Thousands of Hezbollah supporters attended the funeral, chanting "Death to Israel" and "God is great".

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah vowed to continue the resistance against Israel, saying that the group had "enough rockets, missiles, and weapons to deter and confront" the enemy.

He also accused Israel of trying to drag Lebanon into a wider regional conflict, involving Iran and its allies.

Israel has not officially commented on the air strike, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel would "act firmly and responsibly" to defend itself against any threat.

He also warned that Israel would hold the Lebanese government responsible for any attack from its territory, saying that Lebanon was becoming a "terrorist state" under Hezbollah's influence.

The United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) said it was in contact with both parties to prevent further escalation and urged them to respect the 2006 ceasefire agreement that ended a month-long war between them.

The UN Security Council is expected to discuss the situation in Lebanon on Monday, amid growing international concern over the stability of the country, which is facing a severe economic and political crisis.