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LEBANON–ISRAEL

Hezbollah loses six members in latest day of fighting

The party retaliated by launching no less than 11 attacks which “caused deaths and injuries” in the ranks of Israel's army.

Hezbollah loses six members in latest day of fighting

A Lebanese army soldier stands in front of a building destroyed by an Israeli strike in Kfar Hamam, South Lebanon, May 17, 2024. (Credit: Rabih Daher/AFP)

On Monday, Israel and Hezbollah engaged in intense clashes, with the party announcing the death of six of its members. According to L'Orient-Le Jour's South Lebanon correspondent, Milad Houjeiri (b. 1993) and Mohammad Abbas (b. 1997) were killed in a strike against the border town of Mais al-Jabal. Abbas Mahdi (b. 1997) and Raef Mleiji (b. 1957) were killed in an airstrike on the town of Naqoura. Qassem Afif Saqlawi (b. 1987) was killed in a strike near sour. Two others were seriously injured in the strike, and their prognosis is uncertain.

Hussein Ali Hassan (b. 1989) was killed in an Israeli strike in Syria, near the Qousseir region, where Hezbollah has considerable influence. At least five other members from pro-Iranian groups were killed in the attack, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The state-run National News Agency reported that the Israeli strike on Naqoura targeted an area where Hezbollah-affiliated rescue workers were stationed.

The Israeli army announced that it had targeted “a Hezbollah terrorist cell” in the Mais al-Jabal area, hitting “an arms storage site and a military complex.” This brings to 310 the total number of Hezbollah members killed since Oct. 8.

On the Israeli side, at least 14 soldiers and 11 civilians were killed in the violence, according to the authorities. For a week now, the party has been reporting casualties almost daily as Israel has stepped up its aggression in response to escalating attacks by Hezbollah, which last Thursday carried out its first in-depth attack, striking an army site more than 30 kilometers from the border.

13 attacks against Israel

In addition, Israeli jets fired two high-explosive missiles at the village of Aita al-Shaab, according to a security source. Israeli artillery fire also targeted Odaisseh, Hamoul, Houla and Maaliya. The outskirts of Rashaya al-Foukhar (Hasbaya) and an area between Markaba and Wadi Hounine (Marjayoun) were also targeted.

The Islamic Mission Scouts Association reported that members of its civil defense took part in fire-fighting operations following Israeli phosphorus shell fire on Markaba. Similarly, the civil defense of the Islamic Health Association, associated with Hezbollah, said it had extinguished a fire that had broken out in the meadows and wheat fields south of the locality of Khiam following a similar attack.

Sunday night was also turbulent. Machine-gun fire rang out from the Israeli site of Ramieh, while Israeli aircraft bombed the outskirts of Adaishe and Kfar Kila, then Aitaroun, where an empty three-story building was destroyed. It took rescue workers two hours to extinguish the fire that broke out as a result of the bombardment.

Around midnight, the Israeli air force bombed Jibbein and Yarine (Sour).

In response, Hezbollah announced 13 attacks against Israel on Monday. In particular, it claimed to have bombed the “Israeli barracks of Ramim,” opposite the Lebanese village of Markaba, and launched an attack with “guided missiles” against “an Israeli army center at the eastern entrance to Ghajar,” a cross-border village whose Lebanese part was occupied in July 2023 by Israel.

According to the party, the missiles launched “hit a position where enemy officers were stationed, causing deaths and injuries.” Hezbollah said it had observed the Israeli army “evacuating its victims.” It also claimed to have targeted the sites of Malkia, Jal al-Allam, Ramieh and Margaliot, “while Israeli enemy soldiers were deployed nearby.”

The Israeli town of Metulla, opposite Khiam, was also targeted.

This article originally appeared in French in L'Orient-Le Jour. 

On Monday, Israel and Hezbollah engaged in intense clashes, with the party announcing the death of six of its members. According to L'Orient-Le Jour's South Lebanon correspondent, Milad Houjeiri (b. 1993) and Mohammad Abbas (b. 1997) were killed in a strike against the border town of Mais al-Jabal. Abbas Mahdi (b. 1997) and Raef Mleiji (b. 1957) were killed in an airstrike on the town of Naqoura....