Israeli Shelling Kills Two Lebanese Civilians in Shebaa
In the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, two Lebanese civilians were tragically killed in Israeli shelling in the southern village of Shebaa. The attack comes as tensions continue to escalate between Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah, Palestinian factions in Lebanon, and the Israeli army.
The recent wave of violence was sparked by a shocking attack by Hamas on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of over 1,300 people in Israel. In response, Israel launched a retaliatory air and artillery bombardment on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, claiming the lives of more than 2,200 people.
According to the mayor of Shebaa, Mohammad Saab, a man and his wife, both in their forties, were killed in their home by Israeli shelling. The area has been subjected to heavy shelling, as reported by an AFP correspondent on the scene.
The exchange of fire between Israel and Hezbollah, along with Palestinian factions in Lebanon, has been a near-daily occurrence since Sunday. So far, the attacks have remained limited in scale. However, earlier on Saturday, Hezbollah announced that it had shelled Israeli positions in the contested Shebaa Farms district with guided missiles and mortar shells. The group later confirmed launching additional strikes in the same area.
In response to Hezbollah’s attacks, the Israeli military retaliated by striking the origin of the launches. Prior to this, they had also claimed to have killed several “terrorists” attempting to cross the border.
The previous day, Lebanon accused Israel of being responsible for cross-border fire that resulted in the death of a Reuters journalist and injured six others. The Israeli military stated that it was investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident, which also wounded journalists from AFP, Reuters, and Al Jazeera.
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), which serves as a buffer between Lebanon and Israel, commented on the attack. UNIFIL confirmed that Israel had struck a position near the village of Alma Al-Shaab, where the group of journalists were located. UNIFIL peacekeepers also reported gunfire and explosions following the strike.
At this stage, UNIFIL cannot definitively determine how the group of journalists came to be hit. The organization is continuing its investigation into the incident.
The escalating violence in the region is deeply concerning, with innocent civilians paying the ultimate price. The international community must work together to de-escalate tensions and find a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
As the situation unfolds, it is crucial for all parties involved to exercise restraint and prioritize the safety and well-being of civilians. The loss of innocent lives is a tragedy that should serve as a reminder of the urgent need for dialogue and diplomacy.
The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has far-reaching consequences, not only for the immediate region but also for global stability. It is imperative that all stakeholders engage in meaningful dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict and work towards a lasting peace.
In the meantime, the international community must provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by the violence and support efforts to rebuild infrastructure and communities devastated by the conflict.
The tragic deaths of the two Lebanese civilians in Shebaa serve as a somber reminder of the human cost of war. It is incumbent upon world leaders to prioritize peace and find a diplomatic solution to prevent further loss of life and suffering in the region.