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Israel to evacuate 14 more towns bordering Lebanon

October 22, 2023 at 1:45 pm

Israeli soldiers look on as a man boards a bus in the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona on the border with Lebanon, before being evacuated to a safer location on October 22, 2023 [JALAA MAREY/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel on Sunday decided to evacuate 14 more towns near the border with Lebanon, bringing the total number of towns to be evacuated within a week to 43, amid escalation on the Israeli-Lebanese border reports Anadolu Agency.

In a joint statement, the Israeli Defense Ministry and the army announced that the “expansion of the evacuation plan” was approved by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

“The decision will be implemented by the mayors of local municipalities, the Ministry of Interior, and the National Emergency Management Authority affiliated with the Ministry of Defense,” it added.

On Oct. 16, Israel announced the evacuation of 28 towns, then later added the city of Kiryat Shmona, bringing the number to 29.

Amid the attacks in the Gaza Strip, tension has flared along the border between Israel and Lebanon, with exchanges of fire between Israeli forces and Hezbollah.

The border clashes have been the deadliest since Hezbollah and Israel fought a full-scale war in 2006, when the Lebanese group struck major Israeli cities with rockets, causing significant damage.

More than 1,000 Lebanese were killed in the war, while much of southern Lebanon – a Hezbollah stronghold – was devastated by Israeli attacks.

READ: Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Israel exchange fire on border