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Monday, Apr 15, 2024

Netanyahu Threatens Military Action Against Southern Lebanon if Political Solutions Fail

Hezbollah Strikes Kiryat Shmona, Israel Pursues Its Elements Deep into Nabatieh.
Israel has resumed its bombardment of Nabatieh, with its aircraft conducting two raids on homes in the adjacent town of Kfarman, resulting in the deaths of two Hezbollah members who were in a residential apartment. This escalation comes in response to Hezbollah's increased bombing of targets in Kiryat Shmona, amidst new Israeli threats to force residents in the Galilee region back "militarily," should diplomatic negotiations fail.

During a meeting with military forces on Mount Hermon in the occupied Golan Heights, Israeli War Cabinet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "Our goal in the north is simple to return the residents. To bring back the residents, we need to restore a sense of security, and to restore security, that is what we shall achieve, and we will not stop until it is done." He continued, "We will accomplish this by one of two ways: militarily, if need be; or politically, if possible. In either case, Hezbollah must understand that we will restore security. I hope this message will be well understood over there."

This threat follows additional Israeli escalation in Lebanese territory, manifested on Thursday in an Israeli strike targeting Kfarman town near Nabatieh, which resulted in two deaths and at least three injured individuals. Lebanese media reported that Israeli jets conducted two strikes on a house along the Kfarman highway, targeting both an under-construction apartment on the top floor and another on the first floor with precision missiles, subsequently identified by local media as Hezbollah members.

The bombing of Kfarman occurred in the afternoon, following rocket fire towards Kiryat Shmona. Israeli media discussed either a directed missile or a suicide drone hitting a building within an Israeli military base in Kiryat Shmona.

Later, Israeli media reported that rockets from Lebanon had struck houses in Kiryat Shmona, speaking also of major damage to a home in the settlement of Kfar Yuval on the border with Lebanon, which was hit by a directed missile from Lebanese territory. Following these strikes were Israeli raids that destroyed homes in Khiam, Kfarkila, and Maroun al-Ras, in addition to the destruction of three homes in Blida deep within Lebanese territory.

The Israeli military, in a statement, announced its attack on Hezbollah targets and responded to the origin of the gunfire towards Kiryat Shmona. Its aircraft bombarded a military building for Hezbollah in the Maroun al-Ras area and targeted the organization's infrastructure in the Kfarkila and Khiam regions. An Israeli tank also fired upon the area around Al-Jibain. The statement added, "In the recent hours, firing operations from Lebanese territory toward Israeli territory in the areas of Kiryat Shmona and (Kfar Yuval) were detected, and the Israeli military attacked the sources of fire."

Hezbollah, in a statement, declared that their fighters targeted "a building hosting Israeli enemy soldiers in the colony (Kfar Yuval) with suitable weapons, achieving a direct hit in response to Israeli aggressions on villages and civilian homes." They also claimed targeting the headquarters of Eastern Brigade 769 in a Kiryat Shmona military barrack, besides other targets in Shebaa Farms.

Funeral Procession for a Child

In the meantime, Hezbollah and the Amal Movement conducted a joint funeral for a woman and six-year-old child who were killed on Wednesday in an Israeli raid targeting a home in the town of Majdal Zun.

The head of the Amal Movement's executive council, Mustafa Fawani, stated: "We are defending our land, our honor, and the dignity of all Lebanon. We stand up for sovereignty and protect it," adding, "Today, we are in dire need of national unity and consider positions at the state level to be a means, not an end, because the goal is how to preserve and protect the nation." He called to "seize the moment of our current challenge to seek ways out of our political crisis," clarifying that "the solution is clear, which is for all parties to meet with one another on the basis of mutual understanding and expanding our commonalities in order to elect a president who will lead the key to returning to the regular functioning of all constitutional institutions, foremost among them the formation of a new government."
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