The border region between Lebanon and Israel recorded this Friday (6) the third day of clash between the Israeli army and Hezbollah, a fundamentalist group supported by Iran.
Israel and Hezbollah are trying to resume the war that lasted a month in 2006 in the same border region of southern Lebanon and have been exchanging fire since Wednesday (4), when a rocket was launched against the Israelis, an act that did not ‘was undertaken by no group. Israel retaliated with artillery and airstrikes, which were retaliated by Hezbollah on Friday.
The attacks by Israel and Hezbollah took place in open ground, a sort of warning shot, and caused no more casualties or damage. The Israeli government has said it does not want to turn the conflict into a war per se, but is ready to do so. “We understand that Hezbollah has deliberately targeted open areas so as not to aggravate the situation,” said Lt. Col. Amnon Shefler, spokesman for the IDF.
The attacks come at a time of growing tension with Iran: Last week, an Israeli-administered oil tanker was hit in the Persian Gulf and two crew members, a British and a Romanian, were killed. Tehran has denied any involvement in the case.
Iran fearing reprisals from Israel or the international community, Hezbollah chose southern Lebanon to target the enemy.
The IDF said the Iron Dome anti-missile system on Friday intercepted 10 of the 19 rockets, six of which fell in open areas and three in southern Lebanon.
The attacks sparked a wave of criticism from opponents of Hezbollah in Lebanon, a country going through a serious financial crisis. In a rare question to the fundamentalist armed group, the local population prevented the passage of guerrillas in a border region.
“What is happening in the south is dangerous, very dangerous, especially with the rise in tensions in the region,” wrote on a social network Samir Geagea, a politician linked to Saudi Arabia and fierce opponent of Hezbollah.
The UN on Friday called on both sides to end the conflict.
Security analysts have long raised the risk of Israel’s involvement in a multi-front war with Iran, which also supports Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.
Israel says it is rallying other countries to respond to an oil tanker attack off the coast of Oman last week, but is ready to go it alone if necessary. The United States and Britain say they will work with their allies to respond to the attack.
The UK is expected to attack the tanker at a closed-door UN Security Council meeting on Friday, diplomats said.
G7 foreign ministers say Iran threatens international peace and security and all available evidence shows that it is behind the attack on the tanker. The Iranian government denies any involvement.