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Hezbollah fires rockets at Israel in “initial response” to the death of the group’s leader

Hezbollah fires rockets at Israel in “initial response” to the death of the group’s leader

The Lebanese radical Islamic group Hezbollah claims to have fired a total of 62 rockets at an Israeli observation post along the border with Israel this Saturday (6) as an “initial response” to the assassination of a senior Hamas leader in Beirut, in beginning of this week.

In a statement, Hezbollah said its fighters launched an attack shortly after 8 a.m. local time on the Meron Air Surveillance Base in northern Israel as an “initial response” to the killing of Saleh Al-Arouri in southern Israel. Beirut, on Tuesday (2).

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement that “approximately 40 launches” from Lebanon toward the Meron area in northern Israel were identified after sirens sounded in the north of the country.

Red alerts – about possible rocket fire, including where interception shrapnel could land – were issued for more than 100 locations in northern Israel this morning.

The Israeli military then attacked Hezbollah fighters who “participated in the launches,” the statement added.

Fears of a wider war

Earlier this week, Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib told CNN that his government expected Hezbollah not to respond to the Beirut attack, stressing that Lebanon did not want “any escalation in the war”.

Israel has not claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack, with Mark Regev, a senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, telling MSNBC that whoever planned the attack “has a grievance with Hamas itself.”

But if Israeli involvement is confirmed, Arouri would be the highest-ranking Hamas official killed by the IDF since the start of the war triggered by Hamas' attack on Israel on October 7.

In addition to dealing a blow to Hamas' leadership, the apparent attack also risks further widening the arena of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Israel attacks southern Gaza

At least 122 people were killed overnight and 256 injured during the past 24 hours by Israeli forces, the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in Gaza said in a statement earlier.

Previously, the ministry confirmed to CNN that at least 22 people were killed in Khan Younis in the south overnight, and more than 30 were killed in other parts of Gaza, as Israeli military operations continue.

Images from the Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, where victims have arrived, show staff trying to urgently treat seriously injured victims and also the bodies of victims wrapped in sheets with their loved ones gathered together.

A CNN cannot independently verify casualty figures reported by the Gaza Ministry of Health due to limited access to the area.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said in a statement that, for the third day in a row, “artillery shelling continues in the vicinity of Al-Amal Hospital in Khan Younis, and heavy drone fire.”

The IDF also confirmed that it attacked Khan Younis in southern Gaza last day, adding that “IDF troops killed numerous terrorists on the ground and in the air, and destroyed several tunnel shafts.”

A local journalist in Deir al-Balah, in southern Gaza, also told CNN about the attacks during the night and added that Israeli military tanks were at the Al Zawaydeh cemetery, 2 km from the Al Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, with a continuous exchange of fire.

The number of Palestinians killed in Gaza has risen to 22,722, in addition to 58,166 injured since October 7, the statement from the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health added.

The ministry does not distinguish between combatants and non-combatants, but says that around 70% of those killed are women and children.

Source: CNN Brasil