Hezbollah fires scores of rockets at northern Israel

13 June,2024 08:42 AM IST |  Beirut  |  Agencies

Retaliatory attack came as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in the region to push a ceasefire proposal

A Palestinian youth injured during Israeli bombardment in the central Gaza Strip. Pic/AFP

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Lebanon's Hezbollah fired a massive barrage of rockets into northern Israel on Wednesday to avenge the killing of a top commander, further escalating regional tensions as the fate of an internationally-backed plan for a ceasefire in Gaza hung in the balance. The retaliatory attack came as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in the region to push a ceasefire proposal with global support that has not been fully embraced by Israel or Hamas. The militant group submitted its first official response late Tuesday, requesting "amendments" to the deal.

Hezbollah, an Iran-backed ally of Hamas, has traded fire with Israel nearly every day since the 8-month-long Israel-Hamas war began and says it will only stop if there is a truce in Gaza. That has raised fears of an even more devastating regional conflagration. Air raid sirens sounded across northern Israel, and the military said that about 160 projectiles were fired from southern Lebanon, making it one of the largest attacks since the fighting began. There were no immediate reports of casualties as some were intercepted while others ignited brush fires.

Hezbollah said it fired missiles and rockets at two military bases in retaliation for the killing of Taleb Sami Abdullah, 55. Known within Hezbollah as Hajj Abu Taleb, he is the most senior commander killed since the fighting began eight months ago. The Israeli strike destroyed a house where Abdullah and three other officials were meeting, about 10 kilometres from the border, late Tuesday. Israeli airstrikes on Lebanon have killed over 400 people, most of them Hezbollah members, but the dead also include more than 70 civilians and non-combatants.

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