February 20, 2024

Missile from Lebanon kills 2 Israeli civilians as Israel-Hamas struggle rages for one hundredth day


JERUSALEM: An anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon hit a house in northern Israel on Sunday, killing two civilians and renewing considerations concerning the threat of a second entrance erupting within the Israel-Hamas struggle.

The lethal strike close to the border got here on the one hundredth day of the battle between Israel and Hamas that has killed practically 24,000 Palestinians, devastated huge swaths of Gaza, pushed round 85 p.c of the territory’s 2.3 million residents from their properties and pushed 1 / 4 of the inhabitants into hunger.

The struggle was triggered by Hamas’ Oct. 7 shock assault into southern Israel through which militants killed some 1,200 individuals, largely civilians, and took round 250 hostages, about half of whom are nonetheless in captivity.

Since then, tensions have soared throughout the area, with Israel buying and selling hearth virtually each day with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group and Iranian-backed militias attacking US targets in Syria and Iraq. As well as, Yemen’s Houthi rebels have been concentrating on worldwide transport, drawing a wave of US airstrikes final week.

Sunday’s missile strike got here a day after the Israeli military stated it killed three militants who tried to infiltrate Israel.

Hezbollah’s chief, Hassan Nasrallah, stated his group received’t cease till a ceasefire is in place for Gaza.

“We’re persevering with, and our entrance is inflicting losses on the enemy and placing stress on displaced individuals,” Nasrallah stated in a speech, referring to the tens of 1000’s of Israelis who’ve fled northern border areas.

The unprecedented degree of loss of life and destruction in Gaza has led South Africa to lodge allegations of genocide in opposition to Israel on the Worldwide Courtroom of Justice. Israel denies the accusations and has vowed to press forward with its offensive even when the court docket in The Hague points an interim order for it to cease.

Israel has additionally vowed to return the greater than 100 hostages nonetheless held in Gaza as Israeli leaders have confronted mounting protests from hostages’ households, together with a 24-hour rally in Tel Aviv that started Saturday night and drew tens of 1000’s of supporters.

FEARS OF A SECOND FRONT

Israel and Hezbollah have been cautious to not enable their back-and-forth preventing to erupt into full-blown struggle on a second entrance.

However they’ve come shut on a number of events — most not too long ago within the aftermath of an airstrike that killed a prime Hamas official in Beirut on Jan. 2. Hamas and Hezbollah have each blamed Israel for the strike.

The most recent assaults on Israel, together with the deaths of the 2 civilians on Sunday, raised the chance of recent Israeli reprisals. Late Sunday, the Israeli army stated it had carried out a sequence of strikes on Hezbollah targets in Lebanon.

The military’s chief spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, stated Israel wouldn’t tolerate assaults on civilians.

“The worth will probably be extracted not simply tonight, but in addition sooner or later,” Hagari stated.

Earlier Sunday, the Lebanese missile hit a house within the city of Yuval, killing a person in his 40s and his mom, who was in her 70s, Israeli rescuers stated.

Though Yuval is one in all greater than 40 cities alongside the northern border evacuated by the federal government in October, Israeli media reported that the household stayed within the space as a result of they work in agriculture.

Greater than 115,000 Israelis have evacuated from northern Israel as a result of ongoing tensions.

The lethal strike got here hours after the military stated it killed three militants who entered a disputed Israeli-controlled enclave within the Golan Heights.

A bunch known as Islamic Glory Brigades claimed duty for the infiltration. The Related Press couldn’t independently confirm the assertion, and Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad all stated the group was not affiliated with them.

Tensions have additionally unfold to the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution, the place Palestinian well being officers say practically 350 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli hearth in confrontations all through the struggle.

On Sunday, the Israeli military stated troops opened hearth after a Palestinian automotive breached a army roadblock within the southern West Financial institution and an attacker fired at troopers. Palestinian well being officers stated two Palestinians had been killed.

US SHIELDS ISRAEL FROM CALLS FOR TRUCE

Israel has additionally been underneath rising worldwide stress to finish the struggle in Gaza, however it has to this point been shielded by US diplomatic and army assist. Israel argues that any ceasefire would hand victory to Hamas, which has dominated Gaza since 2007 and is bent on Israel’s destruction.

1000’s took to the streets of Washington, London, Paris, Rome, Milan and Dublin on Saturday to demand an finish to the struggle. Protesters converging on the White Home held aloft indicators criticizing President Joe Biden’s unwavering assist for Israel.

In current weeks, Israel has scaled again operations in northern Gaza, the preliminary goal of the offensive, the place weeks of airstrikes and floor operations left complete neighborhoods in ruins. Netanyahu stated there are not any instant plans to permit a whole lot of 1000’s of Palestinians to return to their properties there, after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised the difficulty throughout a go to to the area final week.

In the meantime, Israel has launched main operations in opposition to the southern metropolis of Khan Younis and built-up refugee camps in central Gaza.

“Nobody is ready to transfer,” stated Rami Abu Matouq, who lives within the Maghzai camp. “Warplanes, snipers and gunfire are all over the place.”

Within the central city of Deir Al-Balah, well being officers stated a minimum of 15 individuals had been killed in Israeli strikes late Saturday.

On the entrance of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, males lined as much as pray for the useless, their our bodies wrapped in white shrouds. The our bodies had been placed on the again of a pickup truck earlier than they had been taken to be buried.

In the meantime, the Egyptian TV station Al-Ghad stated a cameraman was killed in an Israeli airstrike in northern Gaza. The channel stated Yazan Al-Zwaidi was apparently in a crowd of individuals on the time. Particulars weren’t instantly accessible, and the Israeli army had no remark.

In the meantime, the Web advocacy group Netblocks stated communications in Gaza had been nonetheless out after a 48-hour outage. The Palestinian telecommunications operator in Gaza, Jawwal, stated two of its workers had been killed Saturday after they had been hit by a shell whereas fixing strains in Khan Younis.

ISRAEL EYES EXPANDING OFFENSIVE

Netanyahu stated Israel would finally have to push additional south and take management of Gaza’s border with Egypt, which Israeli officers say remains to be utilized by Hamas to smuggle in arms.

Egypt — which in recent times has fortified the border, demolished tunnels and established a buffer zone — insists it has full management of the border and that any such operation must be thought of in mild of agreements with Israel and america.

The realm in and across the border city of Rafah can also be filled with a whole lot of 1000’s of Palestinians who fled from different elements of Gaza and are crowded into overflowing UN-run shelters and tent camps.

The Gaza Well being Ministry stated Sunday that hospitals had obtained 125 our bodies within the final 24 hours, bringing the general loss of life toll to 23,968. The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants however says round two-thirds of the useless are ladies and minors. It says over 60,000 individuals have been wounded.

Israel says Hamas is accountable for the excessive civilian casualties, saying its fighters make use of civilian buildings and launch assaults from densely populated city areas. The army says 189 troopers have been killed and 1,099 wounded because the begin of the bottom offensive.