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Missile barrage hits northern Israel, emergency services report

June 14, 2024 at 2:51 pm

Smoke rises after fire broke out in 15 places in northern Israel due to missiles fired from Lebanon and shrapnel falling during blocking operations at Golan Heights in Israel on June 13, 2024. [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

Israeli emergency services reported dealing with a string of fires in northern Israel on Friday, after dozens of missiles were fired from southern Lebanon into the area around the border town of Kiryat Shemona, Reuters reports.

The military said that warning sirens had sounded in northern Israel and emergency services said teams were searching the area, where they reported there was property damage but no casualties.

Television footage, on Friday, showed damaged buildings and cars as well as brush fires in several locations caused by strikes or falling debris amid heat wave conditions.

The Israeli military has exchanged regular fire with Hezbollah forces across the border in southern Lebanon ever since the start of the war in Gaza in October.

Neither side has appeared to wish a wider conflict, but there has been growing worry that the steady intensification of strikes could push the situation out of control, with the risk of a wider conflict in a region that has already seen direct exchanges between Israel and Iran.

The latest salvo came after an Israeli strike killed a senior commander from the Hezbollah group in southern Lebanon on Tuesday, drawing the heaviest bombardment of northern Israel since the start of the war in October last year.

Tens of thousands of residents have been evacuated from their homes on both sides of the border, creating growing pressure to resolve the stand-off, but diplomatic efforts have, so far, proved fruitless.

On Friday, the Israeli military said fighter jets and anti-aircraft systems had intercepted 11 of the 16 drones launched by Hezbollah against Israel in the past 72 hours.

“The Israeli Air Force is continuing to operate at all times to thwart terrorist activities and protect Israel’s skies from any threat,” it said in a statement.

READ: Hezbollah announces attacks against 15 Israeli military sites in Galilee, occupied Golan Heights