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Israel Exchanges Fire with Hezbollah, Raising Concerns of Broader Conflict

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Israel Exchanges Fire With Hezbollah

Israel and the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah engaged in an exchange of fire on Sunday, which has heightened the possibility of a wider regional conflict. This comes just a day after Hamas launched an unprecedented surprise attack on southern Israel, resulting in the deaths of at least 250 Israelis. Following the Hamas attack, Israeli bombardments of the besieged Gaza enclave have led to the deaths of over 300 Palestinians. The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli land, sea, and air blockade since 2007. In response to the blockade, Hamas and other Palestinian factions have been calling for it to end and have organized protests at the fence that separates the territory from Israel.

Hezbollah, a powerful armed group supported by Iran, claimed responsibility for launching guided rockets and artillery onto three posts in Shebaa Farms as a show of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Lebanon claims sovereignty over the Shebaa Farms, which were captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. Hezbollah stated in a press release, “On the path to liberate the remaining part of our occupied Lebanese land and in solidarity with the victorious Palestinian resistance and the steadfast Palestinian people, the groups of the martyr commander Hajj Imad Moghniyeh in the Islamic Resistance carried out an attack this Sunday, October 08, 2023, targeting 3 Zionist occupation sites in the occupied Lebanese Shebaa Farms region.”

Responding to the attacks, the Israeli military fired artillery into a section of Lebanon where cross-border mortar fire originated from. Israel’s military also reported that one of its drones had struck a Hezbollah post in the Har Dov area of Shebaa Farms. Israel emphasized that it is prepared for various scenarios and will continue to protect the security of its residents. Tel Aviv has held the Shebaa Farms, a 39-square-km (15-square-mile) area of land, since 1967. Both Syria and Lebanon claim that Shebaa Farms belongs to Lebanon.

In light of recent events in Israel and Gaza, Tel Aviv has announced an increase in its presence in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah, in direct communication with leaders of Palestinian resistance groups, views the attacks on Israel as a decisive response to the continued Israeli occupation and a message to those seeking normalization with Israel.

Rachel Adams

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