Elderly couple killed in Israeli air strike in south Lebanon

Another 14 people were injured in overnight attacks along Lebanon-Israel border

Residents and rescuers look at the destruction on Thursday after overnight Israeli bombardment in the southern Lebanese village of Kafra. AFP
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An elderly couple were killed in overnight Israeli air strikes between the towns of Siddiqine and Kafra in southern Lebanon.

Local media outlets identified the couple as Hussein Hamdan and his wife Manar Abadi, both from Kafra.

Another 14 people were injured in three Israeli air strikes in the area between Wednesday and Thursday, Lebanon's state-run National news agency reported.

The Al Risala Scouts, a rescue team affiliated with the Amal Movement political party, said the injured were taken to hospitals in the region.

According to local reports, the Israeli strikes destroyed a two-storey house and damaged neighbouring houses in Siddiqine.

A video widely shared on social media shows a young man, reportedly from Siddiqine, being thrown to the ground during a bombardment near his house as he was live-streaming on TikTok.

The Israeli army said it carried out air strikes on Hezbollah positions in Kafra and Siddiqine, and that its troops also carried out artillery shelling near Houla.

Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah began firing across the border into Israel on October 8, a day after the Israeli military launched an offensive against Hamas in Gaza.

Most of the attacks between the powerful and heavily armed Lebanese militia and Israeli forces have taken place close to the border.

However, in recent weeks, Israel has struck farther into Lebanese territory. On Monday, air strikes hit the north-eastern Lebanese city of Baalbek, about 75km from the border, showing Israel's willingness to engage in a broader conflict to push Hezbollah away from the contested border.

The Baalbek strike was the deepest Israeli attack on Lebanon since the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war.

Hezbollah has refused to negotiate on ending the exchanges as long as Israel's war in Gaza continues.

However, a ceasefire in Gaza could lead Israel to turn its attention to southern Lebanon, military and security sources in both countries have told The National.

They said Israel has planned for a war in south Lebanon to remove Hezbollah from the border, and that the militant group is preparing to face “all scenarios”, including a ground invasion.

The exchanges have killed at least 286 people on the Lebanese side, most of them Hezbollah fighters but also at least 44 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

At least 24 fighters from Palestinian militant groups, including 10 from Hamas, are also among the dead.

On the Israeli side, 10 soldiers and six civilians have been killed, according to the Israeli army.

Civilian death toll rises in Lebanon

Civilian death toll rises in Lebanon
Updated: February 29, 2024, 11:42 AM