Updated January 15th, 2024 at 11:41 IST
Lebanon Missile Strike Killing Israeli Civilians Fuels Probability for New Warfront in North
A Lebanese missile attack claimed Israeli civilian lives in northern Israel, sparking renewed fears of a second front in the 100-day Israel-Hamas conflict.
Tel Aviv: An anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon hit a home in northern Israel on Sunday, resulting in the death of two civilians, as per initial reports. This incident for Israel has once again renewed fears of a second front erupting in the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, which has entered its 100th day.
The conflict, triggered by Hamas' surprise attack into southern Israel on October 7, has already claimed nearly 24,000 Palestinian lives. The devastation in Gaza has forced around 85 percent of the territory's 2.3 million residents from their homes, pushing a quarter of the population into starvation.
Frontlines Heat Up: Israel, Hezbollah, and Broader Regional Fallout
Tensions in the region have escalated, with Israel engaging in almost daily exchanges of fire with Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group. Additionally, Iranian-backed militias have targeted US interests in Syria and Iraq, while Yemen's Houthi rebels have been attacking international shipping, prompting a series of US airstrikes.
The recent missile strike occurred a day after the Israeli army reported killing three militants attempting to infiltrate Israel. Hezbollah's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, asserted that his group would not cease its actions until a cease-fire is established for Gaza. "We are continuing, and our front is inflicting losses on the enemy and putting pressure on displaced people," Nasrallah stated, referring to the tens of thousands of Israelis who have fled northern border areas.
South Africa's Accusation of Genocide
The death and destruction in Gaza prompted South Africa to accuse Israel of genocide at the International Court of Justice. Israel has denied the allegations and vowed to continue its offensive, even if the court issues an interim order to stop.
Israel has also pledged to secure the release of over 100 hostages still held in Gaza. Families of the hostages have staged protests, including a 24-hour rally in Tel Aviv that drew tens of thousands of supporters.
While Israel and Hezbollah have avoided a full-blown war on a second front, recent attacks, including the deaths of civilians on Sunday, heighten the possibility of new Israeli reprisals. Reports of heavy Israeli shelling and airstrikes in Lebanon were noted following the missile strike.
The town of Yuval, where the deadly strike occurred, had been evacuated along with more than 40 other towns along the northern border in October. However, some families, like the unfortunate victims in Yuval, remained in the area due to agricultural work.
Israeli Exodus as Southern West Bank Unrest Persists
The conflict's impact has led to the evacuation of over 115,000 Israelis from northern Israel. Tensions have also spilled into the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where nearly 350 Palestinians have been killed in confrontations with Israeli forces.
In the latest incident on Sunday, the Israeli army reported opening fire after a Palestinian car breached a military roadblock in the southern West Bank, resulting in the death of two Palestinians.
Published January 15th, 2024 at 11:41 IST