BEIRUT: Weeks of hostilities between Hezbollah and the Israel Defense Forces have escalated, with growing casualties on both sides.
US Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea visited the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi.
According to the patriarchal media office, the meeting emphasized “the necessity to elect a president, as the US is interested in Lebanon’s stability on all levels and refuses its involvement in the Gaza war.”
Political analyst Ali Al-Amin told Arab News that Hezbollah and Iran “will not sacrifice Lebanon, neither for the Gaza Strip nor for Jerusalem, except in case of unexpected developments.”
Another round of tit-for-tat attacks took place on the Lebanese southern front on Monday.
Both sides have exchanged fire at the frontier since Oct. 8.
An Israeli strike hit a house in the Lebanese border town of Ainata, killing a civilian and injuring another.
The IDF also bombed a media convoy while it toured the border village of Yaroun with two missiles. No casualties were reported.
According to Israeli media outlets, one Israeli succumbed to his injuries after Hezbollah targeted the Dolev outpost with an anti-armor missile on Sunday.
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said the group “supports Hamas in the Gaza Strip in its confrontations with the Israeli army.”
Russian TV channel RT quoted Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the aerospace force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, as saying that “the war has expanded, and the magnitude of conflicts might increase further.”
He added that “the future is uncertain, but Iran is prepared for all circumstances.”
Besides the ongoing hostilities, Israel has also threatened to “expand and intensify its response to Lebanon,” especially following Hezbollah’s attacks against IDF outposts on Sunday.
The expansion of hostilities has prompted more residents of border villages away from the Blue Line to flee to safer areas.
According to the IDF, on Monday 15 missiles were launched from southern Lebanon toward Nahariya and Shlomi, causing casualties.
Al-Qassam Brigades in Lebanon claimed responsibility for bombing the two settlements as well as other areas north of Haifa in response to Israel’s operation in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli shelling on Monday targeted the region between Tayr Harfa, Naqoura, and Alma Al-Shaab, setting forests adjacent to the Blue Line and opposite the villages of Naqoura, Alma Al-Shaab, and Al-Dahira on fire.
A salvo of rockets was also fired from Lebanon toward the Kiryat Shmona settlement.
Hezbollah’s military wing said that it targeted an infantry force in the Dahira outpost in western Galilee with a significant salvo of rockets, causing direct casualties.
The party added that it also targeted the Israeli Bayad Blida outpost and Al-Marj outpost in occupied Hounin.
Two casualties in the Netua settlement were reported by Israeli media outlets.
Sirens have also been activated at the UNIFIL’s headquarters in Naqoura.
Hezbollah announced that two more of its members had been killed, increasing the death toll in its ranks to 72 in 37 days.
It also published on Al-Manar website the number of injured Israelis based on “the official website of the Israeli Health Ministry.”
The website claimed that “the number of injured Israelis receiving treatment in Israeli hospitals in Haifa and northern Israel has reached 1,405 (by) Sunday morning.
It added that “they are being treated in the hospitals of Zif, Safad, Nahariya, Rambam, Hillel Yafe, Carmel, and Bnai Zion, among others.”