Hezbollah has defended its confrontation with Israel as a show of support with Gaza [AFP via Getty]

Hezbollah, Israel clash on border as Lebanon tensions mount

MENA |

There are fears that the cross-border fighting between Israel and Hezbollah could take a more dangerous turn following Tuesday’s killing of a top Hamas official

Israel has continued to exchange fire with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group as fears mount over greater violence following the assassination of a senior Palestinian official near Beirut earlier this week.

An Israeli airstrike on an apartment building in a southern Beirut suburb that killed Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri and others from the Palestinian movement marked a significant escalation in the fighting between Hezbollah and Israel that has persisted since October.

It was seen as a violation of the so-called “rules of engagement” between Hezbollah and Israel, with clashes largely limited to the border region bar some Israeli airstrikes north of the Litani River.

Lebanon has filed a complaint to the UN over the Tuesday night attack that killed Arouri.

Hezbollah has defended its confrontation with Israel as a show of support with Gaza, which has been battered by an Israeli air and ground assault killing around 23,000 people.

In what has become an almost ordinary occurrence since 7 October, Israel targeted border towns and villages in southern Lebanon on Friday, either from the air or with artillery. Hezbollah retaliated by firing several missiles into northern Israel, which are usually intercepted by Israeli air defence systems.

Friday’s clashes came hours before Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah was expected to give his second speech of the week.

At least 175 people have been killed in southern Lebanon since 7 October, including 129 Hezbollah fighters and more than 20 civilians, including three journalists, according to an AFP tally.

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