RMEISH, Lebanon (AP) — The military wing of Palestinian group Hamas said Monday it fired rockets from Lebanon into northern Israel, triggering Israeli airstrikes on the Lebanese side of the border.
The Qassam Brigades said in a statement its militants fired 16 rockets on the town of Nahariya and the southern outskirts of the city of Haifa in retaliation for Israeli attacks on Gaza.
Haifa is the furthest city targeted by rockets from the Lebanese side since the start of the Israel-Hamas war nearly a month ago.
The Israeli army said approximately 30 rockets were fired from the Lebanese side targeting northern Israel, adding it was responding by shelling the origin points of rocket launches. The exchange lasted about half an hour and Israel's Iron Dome could be clearly seen intercepting rockets from Lebanon. Relative clam prevailed afterward.
About three hours later, Israel’s air force carried out airstrikes on “Hezbollah targets” inside Lebanon, Israeli military spokesman Avichay Adraee posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, adding that details would follow later.
Strong explosions could be heard in the area.
The exchange of fire came as Lebanon’s militant group Hezbollah said its fighters attacked at least three Israeli military posts along the border around sunset Monday.
Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency also reported a drone strike on the outskirts of the village of Aramta near the southern city of Jezzine — a Hezbollah stronghold that is about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the border. This is the third such attack since the latest round of fighting began.
The clashes between Hezbollah and Israeli forces erupted on Oct. 8, a day after the war started. The fighting has been largely contained along the border but in recent days, as Israeli troops began moving ground troops into Gaza, military activities have increased.
An Israeli airstrike killed four civilians, a woman and three children in south Lebanon on Monday, after which Hezbollah fired a rocket on the northern Israeli municipality of Kiryat Shmona, leaving one Israeli dead. The municipality spokesman, Doron Shnaper, called on residents who stayed in the town to leave amid rising tension.
The violence along the border has forced thousands of people along both the Lebanese and Israeli sides to move to safer areas.
Hezbollah officials have warned that if Israel killed Lebanese civilians, it would be considered a violation of the rules of engagement and the group would retaliate by targeting Israeli civilians.
Associated Press writer Amy Teibel contributed to this report from Jerusalem.