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Lebanon on edge: Hezbollah fires 100 rockets as Israel hits Baalbek

Israeli airstrikes pounded Lebanon’s northeast city of Baalbek after Hezbollah fired 100 rockets in Israel in the heaviest exchange of fire since October.
AFP via Getty Images

BEIRUT — The Israeli military resumed airstrikes in northeastern Lebanon on Tuesday after exchanging fire with Hezbollah overnight. Late on Monday, Israel struck Baalbek and the heavily armed Hezbollah movement responded by firing more than 100 rockets toward Israel. The fighting between the two sides is escalating at an alarming rate, ramping up fears of a full-blown war.

According to local news reports, Israeli fighter jets launched a series of missile strikes in the town of Nabi Shayth and in the Dhour al-Ayroun area on the outskirts of Saraain, both in the Baalbek district some 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the Israel-Lebanon border, where Israel and Hezbollah have been exchanging fire since October.

According to Al-Mayadeen TV, which has ties to Hezbollah, the strikes destroyed a three-story building near Saraain. Lebanon's official National News Agency said at least one person was killed and eight others were injured.

The Arabic-language spokesperson for the Israeli military, Avichay Adraee, said in a post on X that the Israeli planes hit two Hezbollah centers in Baalbek used to store “significant assets used to strengthen its weapons arsenal.”

He added that the air raids came in response to the rocket launches carried out by Hezbollah toward northern Israel earlier on Tuesday.

Tuesday’s strikes mark the third round on Baalbek, a major Hezbollah stronghold, since the fighting erupted in October. Baalbek was first bombarded in late February.

Late on Monday, Israel launched at least four airstrikes in the south and west of the city.

The Israeli military said it hit two sites belonging to Hezbollah forces that are responsible for planning and carrying out attacks against Israel.

Monday’s strikes killed one civilian identified as Mustafa Gharib, a member of a local soccer team.

On Monday, Hezbollah claimed it struck the headquarters of the Air and Missile Defense Command in the Kela Barracks and a missile and artillery base in Yoav, in the Israeli-occupied Golan, as well as artillery positions around it with more than 100 Katyusha rockets.

According to Israeli news reports, the projectiles fell in open areas in the northern Golan Heights and the Upper Galilee without causing injuries or significant damage.

The Israeli military confirmed in a post on X that over 100 rockets were launched from Lebanese territory toward northern Israel and that its fighter jets destroyed three rocket launchers used in the attack.

Hezbollah has said that it will end its military operations against Israel when a cease-fire is reached in Gaza. Israeli officials, meanwhile, said they will focus their attention on Hezbollah once the war against Hamas ends.

On Tuesday, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah hosted a Hamas delegation headed by the group’s deputy head in Gaza, Khalil al-Hayya. The discussions focused on the latest developments in Gaza, the West Bank and elsewhere, a statement by Hezbollah read.

Hezbollah and several other Iranian-backed groups in the region joined the battle against Israel after it launched its war against Hamas in Gaza.

The cross-border hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah have killed more than 220 Hezbollah fighters and nearly 40 civilians in Lebanon since October, according to an Agence France-Presse tally.

On the Israeli side, nine soldiers and 10 civilians have been killed, according to the Israeli military.