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Hezbollah attacks wound Israeli troops along Lebanon border

The Irish Defence Forces have told The Journal that all Irish members of the UNIFIL force are safe and accounted for.

ATTACKS BY LEBANON’S Hezbollah group have wounded seven Israeli troops and 10 other people, Israel’s military and rescue services said.

The clashes came as skirmishes between the Iran-backed group and Israeli military continue to intensify along the Lebanon-Israel border, threatening to escalate into another front in the Middle East’s latest war.

The Israeli military said in a statement that “seven IDF soldiers were lightly injured as a result of the mortar shell launches in the area of Manara in northern Israel earlier today”.

Israeli rescue services did not identify the location or provide information about the 10 others wounded by rocket blasts and shrapnel, but said two of them were in a critical condition.

The Israeli military said they identified 15 launches from Lebanon over the past hour and their defence systems intercepted four of them. The rest fell into open areas.

Hamas’s military wing, meanwhile, claimed responsibility for shelling the northern Haifa and the Israeli border towns of Na’ura and Shlomi from southern Lebanon without giving any further details.

Hezbollah first fired anti-tank missiles at an Israeli community just over the border today, Israeli officials said, badly wounding utility workers.

The Israeli military said it was striking the origin of the launch with artillery fire.

The Israel Electric Corp said workers in the rural community of Dovev were wounded while repairing lines damaged in a previous attack. Israeli media reported that six people were wounded, including one critically.

Israel hit several southern Lebanese towns, including Yaroun, Mays el-Jabal, and Alma al-Shaab.

Hezbollah said it launched guided missiles against a “logistical force belonging to the occupation army that was about to install transmission poles and eavesdropping and spying devices near the Dovev barracks”.

It said it hit an Israeli military bulldozer in a separate strike. Shortly after the attack, air raid sirens were heard in northern Israel. Army Radio reported that another anti-tank missile had been fired from Lebanon.

Hezbollah later announced attacks on Israeli military gatherings and barracks in border areas Birket Riche and Zareit, as clashes continue to intensify along the tense Lebanon-Israel border.

The assault was the most serious incident involving civilians since an Israeli airstrike in south Lebanon on 5 November killed a woman and three children.

Israeli troops and Hezbollah militants and their allies have been clashing along the border since the Israel-Hamas war started five weeks ago with a bloody incursion into southern Israel by Hezbollah ally Hamas.

While largely contained, clashes have increased in intensity as Israel conducts a ground offensive in Gaza against Hamas.

Also today, the United Nations peacekeeping force in south Lebanon, Unifil, said one of its peacekeepers had been wounded by gunfire overnight near the Lebanese town of al-Qawza.

It was not clear where the shooting had come from or whether the peacekeepers were targeted or caught in crossfire. Unifil, which features a contingent of Irish troops, said it was investigating.

The Irish Defence Forces have told The Journal that all Irish members of the UNIFIL force are safe and accounted for.

A Defence Forces spokesperson said:

“On several occasions since commencement of hostilities UNIFIL, and specifically IRISHPOLBATT have been subject to GROUNDHOG (taking shelter in protected positions).

“The Irish troops of the 122nd Infantry Battalion in UNIFIL continue to monitor the situation and to conduct planned framework operations. 

“All Irish and Maltese soldiers are accounted for and are safe.

“The deployment of the 123rd Infantry Battalion to UNIFIL is continuing as planned.”

With reporting from David Mac Redmond

Press Association