update deskIsrael at War

Israelis wounded in Hezbollah missile and drone attacks on Galilee

The heavy barrages came a day after top Hezbollah terror operative was slain in an IAF strike in Lebanon.

Smoke and fire rises after attacks from Lebanon at the El Al stream in the Golan Heights, July 5, 2024.  Photo by Maor Kinsbursky/Flash90.
Smoke and fire rises after attacks from Lebanon at the El Al stream in the Golan Heights, July 5, 2024. Photo by Maor Kinsbursky/Flash90.

Three Israelis were wounded, including one seriously, on Sunday afternoon when a Hezbollah anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon scored a direct hit in the area of Moshav Zar’it in the Upper Galilee.

Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya said that the seriously wounded victim, a 31-year-old man, was sedated and intubated in the hospital’s trauma center, in stable condition.

The other victims, aged 42 and 25, were lightly injured and were undergoing tests in the emergency room, the hospital said.

Following reports in local media that the wounded included an American citizen, the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem confirmed to JNS it “received information regarding the injury of a private U.S. citizen.”

“We are gathering additional information and can confirm the individual does not work for the U.S. government. However, due to privacy concerns, we have nothing more to share,” the spokesperson stated.

The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement, “Earlier today, two anti-tank missiles were detected that crossed [from] the territory of Lebanon into the Zar’it area. As a result of the launches, an IDF soldier was lightly injured and taken to a hospital for medical treatment.”

Earlier on Sunday, a 28-year-old man sustained serious shrapnel wounds in a barrage on the Lower Galilee village of Moshav Kfar Zeitim.

Dozens of launches were detected throughout the Galilee, sparking fires in several areas near Tiberias and forcing the closure to visitors of Arbel National Park near the Sea of Galilee. The man was injured in Moshav Kfar Zeitim.

Around 20 launches were detected crossing from Lebanon into Israel, with some of the projectiles intercepted by the IDF’s aerial defense array, the military said. There were no immediate reports of damage.

Hezbollah said that its latest barrage came in response to the killing of one of its senior terrorists a day earlier, claiming to have fired “dozens of Katyushas towards the Nimra base west of Tiberias.”

Meitham Mustafa Altaar was killed in a drone strike in eastern Lebanon overnight Saturday, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

He was a key operative in the Iranian terror proxy’s aerial defense unit, the IDF said.

“Meitham led many of the unit’s activities and took part in the planning and carrying out of numerous terrorist attacks against Israelis. Meitham also flew to Iran multiple times, where he gained knowledge and assisted in building up Hezbollah’s force and arsenal of Iranian weapons,” the military said, adding that his elimination was a significant blow to the capabilities of Hezbollah’s aerial defense unit.

According to Lebanese state media, the drone strike hit Altaar’s car in the town of Saath, north of Baalbek in the Bekaa district, a Hezbollah stronghold located about 42 miles northeast of Beirut and some 62 miles north of the Israeli border.

Hezbollah also confirmed the killing of the 33-year-old, according to Reuters, without confirming his role in the terror army.

Furthermore, Israeli Air Force fighter jets struck Hezbollah infrastructure, including an observation post in the area of the village of Houla and another observation post in the Al-Adisa area near the Israeli border, the army said on Saturday night.

The IDF also on Saturday fired artillery to remove a threat in the Yaroun, Maroun El Ras and Beyda areas of Southern Lebanon.

Tehran’s terror army in Lebanon has been committing near-daily cross-border attacks in support of Hamas in Gaza since the start of the war last October.

An IDF soldier was killed on July 4 as Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon launched a massive rocket and drone assault on northern Israel, scoring direct hits on the Golan Heights and Galilee. The attack included some 200 rockets and 20 suicide drones.

The attack reportedly came in response to an IDF strike the previous day that killed top Hezbollah commander Muhammad Nimah Nasser.

Nasser, who commanded Hezbollah’s Aziz unit, responsible for terrorist operations on the border with Israel, was one of the most senior leaders to be killed since the start of the war in the north on Oct. 8.

According to Reuters, Nasser was of the same rank and importance as Sami Taleb Abdullah, who was killed by an IAF strike last month.

Confirming the strike, the IDF said, “Nasser entered his position in 2016, and led the rockets and anti-tank missile attacks from southwestern Lebanon towards Israeli civilians, communities and security forces. He was the counterpart of Sami Taleb Abdullah, the commander of the Nasser Unit. Together, they served as two of the most significant Hezbollah terrorists in Southern Lebanon.”

After Abdullah was killed in June, Hezbollah launched one of its largest barrages of rockets and explosive drones towards the Jewish state’s north, sparking large fires and lightly wounding two civilians.

Hezbollah has attacked Israel’s north nearly every day since Oct. 8, firing thousands of UAVs, rockets and anti-tank missiles at Israeli towns, killing more than 20 people and causing widespread damage. Tens of thousands of Israeli civilians remain displaced due to the violence.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has vowed to continue the attacks until a “complete and permanent ceasefire” is reached in Gaza.

On July 3, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told troops in the south that the IDF is “striking Hezbollah very hard every day, and we will also reach a state of full readiness to take any action required in Lebanon or to reach an arrangement from a position of strength.”

Tanks currently leaving the Gaza Strip “can reach as far as the Litani,” he stated, in reference to the Lebanese river some 10 miles north of the Israeli border.

“We prefer a deal, but if reality forces us, we will know how to fight,” concluded Gallant, according to a readout from his office.

Last month, the IDF formally “authorized and validated” operational plans for a campaign aimed at pushing Hezbollah north of the Litani, in accordance with U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 that ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

Jerusalem is considering launching the operation as early as this month, Germany’s Bild reported on July 2, citing diplomatic sources.

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