Israel Strikes Targets in Lebanon After Hezbollah Rockets Kill Woman, Hit Base

Israel Strikes Targets in Lebanon After Hezbollah Rockets Kill Woman, Hit Base
EDITORS NOTE: Graphic content / A militrary helicopter transports from Ziv hospital in Isr
Jalaa Marey / AFP via Getty

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched airstrikes Wednesday on Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon and beyond, in response to a rocket attack on northern Israel that hit the holy city of Safed, as well as a military base, killing a female soldier.

Safed is one of the four holy cities in Judaism, the others being Jerusalem, Hebron, and Tiberias. It is a center of the Jewish mystical movement known as Kabbalah. It is located in the northern Galilee, in a region populated by many Arab villages as well.

An Israeli policeman inspects the impact crater left by a rocket fired from southern Lebanon where it landed near the entrance of Ziv hospital in Israel’s northern city of Safed on February 14, 2024, amid ongoing cross-border tensions as fighting continues between Israel and Palestinian Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. (Photo by Jalaa MAREY / AFP) (Photo by JALAA MAREY/AFP via Getty Images)

The Times of Israel reported:

An Israeli soldier was killed and eight others were wounded as a barrage of rockets fired from Lebanon slammed into Safed and an army base in the northern city, the military and medical officials said.

In response to the attack, the Israel Defense Forces said it launched “widespread” airstrikes against targets belonging to the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon.

The slain soldier was later named as Staff Sgt. Omer Sarah Benjo, 20, of the 91st Division’s 869th Combat Intelligence Collection unit, from Ge’a.

It was not immediately clear why Israel’s Iron Dome missile system did not intercept the rockets, though Hezbollah has been firing anti-tank missiles that fly close to the ground and are not detected by the radar used to intercept other projectiles.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said that the attacks on Israel would only stop when Israel’s “aggression” against Gaza stops.

An analysis in the Jerusalem Post concluded that Israel had failed to deter Hezbollah thus far, despite threats by Israeli leaders and promises to change the situation in northern Israel by pushing the Iranian-backed terror group back from the border:

[Hezbollah] has lost around 200 of its members to Israel’s retaliatory fire. But 200 members is apparently a number Hezbollah is willing to sacrifice. In addition, Hezbollah knows that proposals have been delivered to Beirut begging Hezbollah to remove a few hundred fighters from the border and make a tacit symbolic withdrawal, so as to quiet the tensions in the north.

Hezbollah, like Hamas, has closely followed how to embed itself in the civilian population and tunnel under villages in southern Lebanon. Like Hamas, it uses civilians as human shields and has created an empire of terrorist infrastructure in southern Lebanon.

As with Gaza, the international community enabled this. A UN resolution that helped end the 2006 war was supposed to prevent Hezbollah from saturating the border with rockets and bunkers. Instead, Hezbollah has been put on steroids since 2006, and has exponentially expanded its arsenal. In Lebanon, Hezbollah has also expanded its political role and has come close to controlling the state itself.

In 2022, the Biden administration promoted a natural gas deal between Israel and Lebanon as a way to deter Hezbollah from attacking Israel. The thought was that if Hezbollah stood to lose money, it would be less likely to initiate a war.

At the time, the Israeli opposition — led by Benjamin Netanyahu — ripped the deal, noting that it gave away a valuable resource in Israel’s own territorial waters, and went around rules requiring legislative approval. The deal also fueled conservative calls for judicial reform, after the Supreme Court approved the deal despite the fact that it had not been approved by Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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