Fighting continued in southern Israel on Sunday morning after the Hezbollah terror group fired mortars at an Israeli military base on the Lebanese border and the Palestinian Hamas terror group launched a major attack in the Gaza Strip.
Hezbollah claimed to have fired dozens of rockets and artillery shells at three Israeli positions in the disputed Dov Mountain area in solidarity with the Hamas attack.
The Lebanese group said in a statement that the attack, which used “a large number of rockets and artillery shells,” was in solidarity with the “Palestinian resistance movement.” Israeli positions were allegedly hit directly.
Video posted on social media showed the moment one of the mortars hit an Israeli military base on the border.
The IDF did not report any casualties and said it had fired artillery fire into the firing area and used drones to strike “Hezbollah infrastructure” in the area.
According to military sources, the drone strike targeted a tent that the terrorist group had set up in Israel a few months ago.
Video shows mortar shells fired from Lebanon falling in Dove Mountain area pic.twitter.com/qoVK9aEw3X
— Emmanuel (Manny) Fabian (@manniefabian) October 8, 2023
There were no immediate reports of casualties in Lebanon.
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon said it was in contact with both sides “to contain the situation and avoid a more serious escalation.”
“Our peacekeepers remain on duty and carry out their duties. They continue to work, some working in shelters for safety,” UNIFIL said in a statement.
“We urge all parties to exercise restraint and use UNIFIL’s liaison and coordination mechanisms to de-escalate the situation and prevent the security situation from rapidly deteriorating,” the statement added.
Hezbollah has been largely absent from previous rounds of fighting between Israel and the Palestinian terror group, although it has allowed local Palestinian factions to operate out of its territory in southern Lebanon.
“The IDF has been taking preparatory measures for this possibility and will continue to conduct operations in all areas and whenever necessary to ensure the safety of Israeli civilians,” the military said in a statement.
Iran-backed Hezbollah initially set up two tents in the Dov Mountain area on the border, but later dismantled one and threatened an attack if Israel took steps to forcibly remove the other tent.
The tent has remained in Israeli territory since early June, but Israel has failed to get UNIFIL to demand that Lebanon dismantle it.
Israel and Lebanon largely adhere to the blue line recognized by the United Nations. The line is marked with blue barrels along the border, and in parts is just meters from the Israeli fence, which is built entirely within Israeli territory.
Tensions with Hezbollah have remained high in recent months, with Hezbollah deploying dozens of outposts, including tents, along the Lebanese border and the terror group’s operatives stepping up patrols and presence in the area.
Other recent incidents on the Lebanese border include disguised Hezbollah members walking along the border in violation of UN resolutions, and Hezbollah activists crossing the Blue Line (although not the Israeli border fence) on multiple occasions, including attempts to breach the border fence and army surveillance equipment.
The fighting on the northern border comes as Israel is battling the Hamas terror group on its southern border.
The Gaza-based terror group launched an unprecedented attack on Israel on Saturday morning, firing thousands of rockets and sending hundreds of gunmen from land, sea and air into Israeli communities, killing about 300 people and killing 1,500. Many people were injured.
The multi-pronged attack, which came a day after Israel celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur raid, caught Israeli military and security forces completely off guard.
Hamas gunmen who overran at least one military base moved through Israeli border communities, killing and capturing residents with apparently little resistance from Israeli forces, residents said.
Other videos circulating online allegedly show Israeli civilians being held hostage by terrorist groups. Arab media claimed that 52 Israelis had been captured. Some of those captured appear to have been killed.
The health ministry in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip said 256 Palestinians had been killed and 1,800 injured as of Sunday morning. Most of them were killed in Gaza, apparently as a result of Israeli retaliatory attacks.
The Israel Defense Forces say they have killed hundreds of Palestinian terrorists in attacks in Israel and Gaza.
Various agencies contributed to this report.