Israel-Hamas war, Gaza crisis, Blinken visit

Tensions continue to rise along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon, with Israel and Lebanon reporting civilian casualties on Sunday as a result of ongoing attacks between Israel Defense Forces and Iran-backed Hezbollah.

IDF Chief Herzei Halevi said in a statement on Sunday that the army was ready for an “offensive mode” in the north at any time.

Both Israel and Lebanon – where the powerful paramilitary group Hezbollah operates in the south – said Sunday that civilians had died along the border.

In Lebanon: Lebanon’s state-run NNA news reported that four relatives, including three children, were killed in an Israeli strike on a civilian vehicle in southern Lebanon.

According to NNA, the vehicle was traveling on the road between the villages of Einada and Idarun, near the border with Israel, when it was hit.

Lebanese state media reported that a grandmother and her three grandchildren were killed in the attack. The children’s mother was also injured and shifted to a nearby hospital.

The Israel Defense Forces said it had identified and engaged a suspicious vehicle in Lebanon.

Hezbollah said in a statement that it fired several rockets at Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel at 7:20 p.m. local time (12:20 p.m. ET) in response to the strike.

In Israel: An Israeli citizen was killed as a result of the Hezbollah attack, IDF spokesman Avichay Adraee told Arab media.

“Today, Hezbollah continues to attack Israeli military bases and civilian towns without distinguishing between civilians and military personnel. One of the attacks resulted in the death of an Israeli citizen,” Adraee said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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Hezbollah accused it of undermining security along the northern border, saying the group “indiscriminately targets residents of the north, threatening stability in southern Lebanon.”

Some background: A firefight between Israeli forces and Iran-backed Hezbollah has been ongoing along the border in recent weeks following a Hamas attack in Israel on October 7.

Chairman of the committee is Hassan Nasrallah He broke the silence of almost a month On Friday’s Hamas attacks in Gaza and the ensuing war.

He said Hezbollah would be “prepared for all scenarios” and that any Israeli military escalation along the border would be a “historic folly” and would trigger a massive response.

But he said Hezbollah’s “primary goal” was to achieve a cease-fire in Gaza, and said it would be up to the United States — which has been directly responsible for the bloodshed in the Palestinian territory — to enforce the cessation of hostilities.

US officials have repeatedly warned Nasrallah and other opponents of Israel not to take advantage of the current fighting to start a wider conflict in the region. Preventing a multi-front war was the central focus of the US secretary of state’s whirlwind diplomatic tour of the Middle East this weekend.

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