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Israel vows to restore calm amid escalation with Lebanon

Xinhua | Updated: 2023-11-13 09:30

Smoke rises over Lebanon, as seen from Israel-Lebanon border in northern Israel, Nov 12, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]

JERUSALEM/BEIRUT - Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesman Daniel Hagari said Sunday that Israel has "operation plans" to fight against armed groups in Lebanon to restore the calm amid growing escalation in the Israel-Lebanon border.

Earlier on Sunday, missiles and anti-tank rockets were launched from Lebanon towards the Krayot area, north of Haifa, and a community near the border.

According to Israel's Magen David Adom rescue service, a total of 18 civilians and soldiers were injured, one with critical injuries.

The Israeli military said in a statement that warplanes carried out airstrikes in southern Lebanon and artillery was fired toward the areas from which the rockets had been launched.

"We have operation plans to change the security situation in the north," Hagari told a daily press briefing. "There is no way that the residents of the north will not be able to return to their homes."

He warned that "the citizens of Lebanon will pay the price" for the rocket attacks that have been carried out from Lebanon by Hezbollah and Hamas.

Lebanese military sources told Xinhua that one Hezbollah fighter was killed and four civilians were injured in the country's southern border village of Yarine in fighting with Israeli forces on Sunday.

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity that Israel's heavy artillery bombed 7 towns in southwestern Lebanon and 17 in the southeast, destroying over 30 houses, and warplanes and drones raided the outskirts of 18 southern towns.

Hezbollah said it launched rockets and artillery attacks on three Israeli barracks and 10 other sites facing southern Lebanon.

The fighter's death brings the total number of casualties on the Lebanese side since Oct 8 to 97, including 76 members of Hezbollah, a member of the Amal Movement, nine members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements in Lebanon, and 11 civilians, including a photojournalist.

The Lebanon-Israel border witnessed increased tension for five weeks after Hezbollah fired dozens of rockets toward Israel on Oct 8 in support of the Hamas attacks on Israel the previous day, prompting the Israeli forces to respond by firing heavy artillery toward several areas in southeastern Lebanon.

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