Lebanon: Israeli warplanes strike 10 Hezbollah targets

As the border war between Israel and Hezbollah reaches its seventh month, Israeli warplanes have struck 10 Hezbollah sites in South Lebanon according to Asharq Al-Awsat plus agencies on April 1st.

Israeli forces confirmed that the sites targeted included a weapons warehouse, missile launch sites, and key Hezbollah infrastructure within Rashaya al-Fukhar, a southern Lebanese village. This operation followed an attack on March 31st, which resulted in the death of Hezbollah leader commander, Ismail Al-Zin.

Tensions have been rising, with warnings of an escalation following previous Israeli airstrikes on March 27th on March 27th, which killed 7 in Lebanon’s south.

However, Israeli has not restricted its targeting to southern Lebanon, recently confirming airstrikes in Lebanon’s northern governates of Baalbek and Hermel.

The skirmishes, which have seen daily exchanges since October 7th when Hezbollah fired rockets into Israel, purportedly in support of Hamas, have led to Israel’s elimination of approximately 270 Hezbollah fighters.

The conflict has caused massive displacement on both sides of the border, with approximately 100,000 people forced from their homes and over 50 Lebanese civilians reported killed.

The continuous violence has recently prompted the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) to call for an adherence to UN Resolution 1701 – a resolution critical to ending the previous war in 2006. A confidential UN Security Council meeting on March 19th discussed expanding the blue-line “buffer zone” between Israel and Lebanon.

Meanwhile, the strikes have had a devastating impact – particularly in southern Lebanon, which has seen the most destruction. To alleviate the suffering, the Lebanese Prime minister Najib Mikati announced on March 20th a compensation plan for Israeli airstrike victims’ families, and for those with destroyed homes and property.

READ: Lebanon PM promises compensation for Israel strikes

While US President Joe Biden has called for calm and de-escalation on the Israel-Lebanon border, Hezbollah has insisted it will not agree to a ceasefire until Israel ceases its war on Gaza.

President Biden’s call follows multiple political officials and diplomats’ visits to Lebanon highlighting the need for de-escalation, including British Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, and the French Ambassador for the Mediterranean, Karim Amellal.

UNIFIL Commander, Aroldo Lázaro said “We call on all parties to commit to implementing the resolution in full. Our more than 10,000 peacekeepers continue their critical monitoring, de-escalation, and liaison work, and we stand ready to support a peaceful resolution to the current situation.”

READ: UN Mission renew appeals for calm in Lebanon

But this looks increasingly unlikely as the Gaza war continues to rage, with President Biden failing on his promise to deliver a Gaza ceasefire before Ramadan.

Amidst the increased militarisation of Israel-Lebanon’s border and Israel’s warnings of an assault on Rafah, there is a growing concern that the violence will spill further and ignite a wider regional war.

Asharq Al-Awsat / Agencies



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