Jerusalem, Oct 16 (EFE).- The Israeli military on Monday warned Lebanese militant group Hezbollah of “deadly” response, should the cross-border attacks against northern Israel persist.
“If Hezbollah dares to test us, the reaction will be deadly. The United States is giving us full backing,” Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Daniel Hagari said during a press conference.
The IDF’s reaction follows a week-long exchange of deadly cross-border fire between Israeli forces and the Lebanon-based Shiite militant group, marking the highest level of tension on the border between the two countries since 2006.
“Hezbollah carried out a number of attacks yesterday in order to try to divert our operational efforts (away from the Gaza Strip), under the direction and backing of Iran,” the spokesperson claimed.
Hagari warned Hezbollah’s attacks against Israel were “endangering the state of Lebanon and its citizens.”
Hezbollah’s rocket attacks have forced the Israeli government to evacuate 28 communities located within a two-kilometer radius of the so-called Blue Line, a boundary established by the United Nations and safeguarded by its peacekeepers since 2006.
The evacuation was carried out to “prevent harm to the civilians,” the spokesperson said.
Moreover, the IDF has designated the entire area within four kilometers of the Lebanese border as a military zone.
“We have increased our forces on the northern border and respond aggressively to any activity against us,” Hagari underlined.
On Sunday, Hezbollah launched at least 15 cross-border missile attacks into northern Israel, killing one soldier and one civilian, prompting the Israeli military to conduct several airstrikes on the group’s hideouts in southern Lebanon.
The frequency of cross-border attacks between Israel and Hezbollah has escalated significantly since the conflict between Israel and the Hamas militia in the besieged Gaza Strip began on Oct 7.
The attacks have resulted in 17 deaths on both sides, including five in Israel (with one civilian) and 12 in Lebanon, 3 of whom were civilians. EFE