Hezbollah fires rockets at Israel after south Lebanon strike kills 4 members of family

BEIRUT: An Israeli airstrike killed four members of a family in a border village in southern Lebanon on Sunday, security sources said.

Hezbollah, in retaliation, fired Katyusha rockets at the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona, close to the Lebanese border.

The four family members killed in Mays Al-Jabal were identified as Fadi Hounaikah and Maya Ali Ammar, and their sons Mohammed, 21, and Ahmad, 12.

The attack occurred when the family took advantage of a de-escalation of hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel to return to their properties to assess damage and move goods from their supermarket to a location outside the village.

Two men riding a motorcycle stare at buildings damaged by an Israeli strike in the southern Lebanese border village of Mays al-Jabal on May 5, 2024, amid ongoing cross-border tensions as fighting continues between Israel and Palestinian Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. (AFP)

A security source in the area told Arab News that while the family was gathering their groceries from the supermarket, an Israeli military drone spotted them and launched an attack, destroying the area and killing all the members of the family and injuring several civilians in the vicinity.

The source clarified that villages in the area were empty because “residents fled the area seven months ago.”

He added: “When residents want to enter these villages to attend victims’ funerals, they send their names and car number plates to the Lebanese Army and UNIFIL, who in turn coordinate with the Israeli side to spare these funerals (from attack).

“In general, people cannot enter border villages without taking into consideration the Israeli danger, as Israeli reconnaissance planes and drones are hovering over the area 24/7. However, what Israel committed against this family is a terrible massacre.”

Hezbollah responded to the incident by launching dozens of Katyusha and Falaq missiles at Israel. The group said the operation was “in response to the crime committed by Israel in the Mays Al-Jabal village.”

The Israeli Upper Galilee Regional Council announced that missiles hit buildings in Kiryat Shmona, while Israeli Army Radio reported that some of the rockets fell inside the city, causing a power outage.

An Israeli army spokesman reported that 65 rockets were launched from southern Lebanon toward Israeli settlements in the Upper Galilee region.

Meanwhile, Israeli airstrikes hit the villages of Al-Adissa and Kafr Kila, while artillery shelling hit the village of Aitaroun.

Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi in his Sunday sermon called for an end to the war in southern Lebanon, urging an end to the “demolition of homes, the destruction of shops, the burning of the land and its crops, and the killing and displacement of innocent civilians and the destruction of their livelihood in an economic condition that has already impoverished them.”

Mohammed Raad, leader of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc, meanwhile, expressed his disapproval of the West’s backing for Israel.

He said that Israel “faces no international deterrent. On the contrary, some support it in committing crimes.”

He accused those who support Israel of being “hypocrites and liars who falsely claim to champion human rights, civilization, and progress in the West, (yet) they provide Israel with financial aid, weapons, smart bombs, and a continuous air bridge.”

Raad concluded: “We are not afraid of Israel’s insanity. We are prepared to confront them directly. We are prepared to sacrifice and shed blood to protect our homeland, independence, and honor.”

 

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