Lebanon state media say two dead in strike on car in south

Rockets leave trails of smoke as they are launched from southern Lebanon (-)
Rockets leave trails of smoke as they are launched from southern Lebanon (-)

Lebanese state-run media said an Israeli strike on a car in the country's south on Thursday killed two people, with Hezbollah-affiliated rescuers saying at least one of them was a group member.

Israel and Hamas ally Hezbollah have exchanged near-daily fire since the Palestinian group's October 7 attack on southern Israel that sparked the war in Gaza, now in its eighth month.

"Two people were martyred in the raid that targeted a car on the Ramadiya-Qana road," the official National News agency (NNA) said, after earlier reporting a drone strike.

A rescuer from the Hezbollah-affiliated Islamic Health committee said an Israeli strike on a car in Qana had killed two young men, including a member of the Iran-backed movement.

Israel's military told AFP in Jerusalem the air strike had "eliminated a terrorist cell on their way to carry out an immediate terror attack on Israeli territory".

Hezbollah said later Thursday it was mourning a second fighter.

It also said it had launched 11 attacks on northern Israel since Thursday morning, targeting military positions and equipment.

Hezbollah said it had fired "more than 60" rockets at Israeli military positions in the annexed Golan Heights in retaliation for overnight strikes that killed a Hezbollah member who Israel said was a field commander.

Thursday's strikes were "in response to the Israeli enemy's attacks last night on the Bekaa region" in eastern Lebanon, it said in a statement.

The Israeli army said it had identified about "40 launches" from Lebanon towards the Golan Heights that caused no casualties before striking back at the sources of the fire.

It reported several more attacks from Lebanon on northern Israel, to which it had also responded with strikes.

Israel's military said an explosive drone launched from Lebanon hit the Metula area, severely wounding one soldier and lightly wounding two more.

Hezbollah said it had fired an "attack drone carrying two "S5" rockets" that targeted a vehicle at a position in Metula.

- Tit-for-tat fire -

Earlier, NNA had reported a midnight Israeli raid on the Baalbek area, where Hezbollah holds sway, hours after the group launched an attack deep into Israeli territory.

"The outskirts of the eastern Lebanon mountain range... was subjected to five enemy raids," the news agency said, adding that they wounded a Lebanese citizen and caused fires.

A source close to Hezbollah told AFP one of the strikes "hit a Hezbollah military camp".

An Israeli army spokesman told AFP: "I can confirm that an air strike was indeed conducted deep in Lebanon against a terror target related to Hezbollah's precision missile project".

On Wednesday, Hezbollah said it launched drones at a military base near the Israeli city of Tiberias, in one of its deepest attacks into the country since cross-border clashes began on October 8.

It came after Israel said it killed one of Hezbollah's field commanders in southern Lebanon on Tuesday.

The group said Israeli fire had killed Hussein Makki, who was identified as a Hezbollah field commander by a source close to the group.

The cross-border fighting has killed at least 415 people in Lebanon, mostly militants but also including 80 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

Israel says 14 soldiers and 10 civilians have been killed on its side of the border.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in areas on both sides of the border.

Israel captured much of the Golan Heights from Syria in the Six-Day War of 1967 and later annexed it in a move not recognised by the international community.