Missile fired from Lebanon kills Israeli civilians

Two civilians were killed in northern Israel on Sunday when an anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon hit their home near the border, raising fears that a new front has opened in the war between Israel and Hamas.

The army then reported that in the West Bank, its troops opened fire when a Palestinian car crossed a road checkpoint and an attacker fired at the army. Palestinian health officials said two Palestinians were killed.

Tensions are rising in the West Bank, where Palestinian officials say about 350 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli operations and other clashes.

Missiles fired from Lebanon kill nearly 24,000 Palestinians on the 100th day of the conflict, devastating much of the Gaza Strip, forcing 85% of the 2.3 million residents to flee their homes and starving a quarter of the population there. Is suffering.

The war began with an October 7 attack on Israel by the Palestinian group Hamas, which killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took about 250 hostages, about half of whom are still in captivity. Are.

Tension is increasing in the entire area. There are almost daily exchanges of fire between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, pro-Iranian militants have attacked US bases in Syria and Iraq, and the Houthis in Yemen have been attacking merchant ships, prompting US retaliation last week. .

Sunday’s attack came a day after Israeli forces were reported to have killed three terrorists who had come from Lebanon while trying to carry out the attack.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah announced that his group would not stop its attacks until there is a ceasefire in Gaza.

“We are continuing, and our front is inflicting damage on the enemy and putting pressure on the displaced,” Nasrallah said in his speech, referring to the thousands of Israelis who were evacuated.

The unprecedented level of death and destruction in Gaza led South Africa to accuse Israel of genocide before the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Israel has strongly rejected the allegations and vowed to continue its offensive even if the court issues an order to stop it.

“No one will stop us. Not The Hague, not the axis of evil, no one else,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared Saturday night, referring to Iran and its allied militias.

Israel has also begun work on the return of more than 100 hostages held in Gaza. Families of the hostages are stepping up pressure on the government, including a 24-hour protest in Tel Aviv that began Saturday and was attended by thousands.

Israeli forces have so far managed to rescue only one hostage, while more than 100 hostages were freed during a week-long ceasefire in November in exchange for 240 Palestinians held by Israel. Hamas has pledged not to release any hostages until Israel ceases its offensive.

fear of another front

Israel and Hezbollah have so far been careful not to let their conflict escalate into open war.

But they have come closer on several occasions, most recently after an airstrike that killed a senior Hamas official in Beirut on January 2. Both Hamas and Hezbollah have blamed Israel for that attack. The latest attacks on Israel, including the deaths of two civilians on Sunday, raise the possibility of Israeli retaliation.

The Israeli Rescue Service said the missile struck a house in the northern Israeli town of Yuval, killing a man in his 40s and his 70-year-old mother.

Although Yuval is one of more than 40 border towns evacuated by the government in October, the press reported that the family stayed there because they work in agriculture.

More than 115,000 Israelis have been evacuated from cities in the north due to the tensions. 12 soldiers and seven civilians have been killed and more than 170 people have been injured by rockets fired from Lebanon into Israel. Hezbollah has said that at least 150 fighters and 20 civilians have been killed in the firing.

The attack came just hours after the army said it had killed three militants who had entered a disputed area in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.

A group called Brigades for Islamic Glory claimed responsibility for the attack. The AP could not independently verify that statement, and both Hezbollah and the Lebanese branches of Hamas and Islamic Jihad have said the group is not affiliated with them.

According to Israel, more than 2,000 rockets and 350 drones have been launched from Lebanon since October.

US defends Israel facing cease-fire requests

Israel is also under intense pressure to end its offensive in Gaza, but has so far been saved by diplomatic and military support from the United States. Israel says the ceasefire would only allow Hamas – which has openly vowed to destroy Israel – to arm itself again.

On Saturday, thousands of people marched in Washington, London, Paris, Rome, Milan and Dublin to demand an end to the war. Protesters in front of the White House were criticizing US President Joe Biden for his support for Israel.

In recent weeks, Israel has scaled back its operations in northern Gaza, where weeks of bombardment and ground attacks have reduced entire neighborhoods to rubble. After the issue was raised by Secretary of State Antony Blinken during a visit to the region last week, Netanyahu indicated there were no immediate plans to allow Palestinians to return to their homes.

Meanwhile, Israel has launched a campaign against refugee camps in Khan Yunis in the south of the Gaza Strip and in the center of the enclave. The refugee camps date back to 1948, during the war in which Israel gained its independence, and today they form an urban center.

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