Hezbollah fires explosive drones and rockets at Israeli positions, while Israeli airstrikes hit several towns and villages in southern Lebanon.

Violence on Lebanon’s border with Israel escalated as Hezbollah fired explosive drones and rockets at Israeli positions and Israeli airstrikes rocked several towns and villages in southern Lebanon.

An Israeli airstrike on the town of Aitaroun destroyed five houses and damaged many more, Ali Hijazi, a local official, said on Sunday.

“Divine intervention prevented anyone from being martyred. “Three women and two men were injured,” he told Reuters.

Senior Hezbollah politician Hassan Fadlallah said in a statement to Reuters that the Israeli airstrikes were a “new escalation” to which the group was responding with new types of attacks, “in the nature of weapons.” [used] or the landing pages”.

The Israeli army previously said “suspicious air targets” had flown in from Lebanon and two had been intercepted. Two Israeli soldiers were moderately injured by shrapnel and smoke inhalation and several others were slightly injured, it said.

Israeli warplanes carried out “an extensive series of attacks on Hezbollah terrorist targets in Lebanese territory,” it said. In Israel, sirens wailed in several places along the border.

In Beirut, residents saw what appeared to be two fighter jets racing across a clear blue sky, leaving contrails in their wake.

Israel and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah have been battling it out since the Gaza war broke out two months ago, in the worst hostilities since the 2006 conflict. The violence was largely limited to the border area.

Hezbollah says its attacks are aimed at supporting Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, where nearly 18,000 people – most of them women and children – have been killed by Israel in two months.

Smoke rises from Israeli artillery fire on Aita al-Shaab, a Lebanese border village [Hassan Ammar/AP Photo]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that Beirut would be turned “into Gaza” if Hezbollah launched an all-out war.

UNIFIL, the U.N. peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon, said in a statement: “The potential for a miscalculation that could trigger a larger conflict is increasing.”

In one of several attacks announced by Hezbollah on Sunday, the group said it fired the explosive drones at an Israeli command position near Ya’ara. In another case, Hezbollah said it fired Burkan rockets (Volcano rockets) carrying hundreds of kilograms of explosives.

Israeli airstrikes were also reported on the outskirts of the Lebanese village of Yaroun, not far from the site of another Israeli position that Hezbollah said it attacked on Sunday.

Those airstrikes destroyed windows of homes, shops and a school in the nearby village of Rmeich, Toni Elias, a priest in Rmeich, told Reuters by phone.

Border violence has killed more than 120 people in Lebanon, including 85 Hezbollah fighters and 16 civilians. In Israel, seven soldiers and four civilians were killed in hostilities.

Source : www.aljazeera.com

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