Across Lebanon border, Israel & Hezbollah trade fire over Gaza

JERUSALEM/BEIRUT/ISTANBUL: Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah group said on Saturday it had fired rockets at Israel and its arch-foe said it had struck a “terrorist cell” in retaliation.
Fighting also raged on inside Gaza, especially in and near the southern city of Khan Younis, where the Israeli military said it killed three members of the militant Palestinian Hamas group, which has run the densely-populated coastal strip.
Israeli forces have completed dismantling Hamas’ “military framework” in northern Gaza and killed around 8,000 militants in that area, a military spokesperson said on Saturday. The military has also seized tens of thousands of weapons in that area and millions of documents, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in an online briefing. “We are now focused on dismantling Hamas in the centre of and south of the (Gaza) strip.”
Israel and Hezbollah often trade fire across the Lebanese border, the West Bank is seething with emotion and the Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen seem determined to continu eattacks on Red Sea shipping lanes until Israel stops bombarding Gaza.
Rocket sirens resounded across northern Israel early on Saturday when the Israeli military said some 40 “launches” from Lebanon toward the area of Meron were identified. There were no reports of casualties or damage.
Hezbollah said it had hit a key Israeli observation post with 62 rockets as a “preliminary response” to the killing of Hamas’ deputy chief Saleh al-Arouri on Tuesday.
Lebanon’s Jama’a Islamiya Islamist group said it had also fired two volleys of rockets on Saturday at Kiryat Shmona in northern Israel, in the third operation claimed by the militant Sunni group since Oct 7.
Israel’s military said it responded to the rocket attacks with an unmanned aerial vehicle strike on “the terrorist cell responsible for the launches”. Israeli fighter jets and troops also struck a series of Hezbollah targets.
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