One dead as Israel launches airstrikes targeting Hezbollah near Baalbek in Lebanon | Lebanon

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Israel has launched airstrikes near Lebanon’s eastern city of Baalbek, security sources and state media have said, in the second raid in the region since cross-border hostilities began after the Gaza war.

Sources told Reuters and AFP that the strikes had killed one person and injured others.

Since 8 October, the day after Hamas launched an attack on Israel that left 1,200 people dead, the Hamas ally Hezbollah and Israel have exchanged near-daily fire. The strikes have largely remained confined to border regions, but several have hit Hezbollah positions further north in recent weeks, raising fears of a full-blown conflict.

“Israeli aircraft targeted a former Hezbollah building near Dar Al Amal hospital,” a security source said late on Monday, adding that Israel had “conducted another raid on a warehouse west of Baalbek”.

Another security official confirmed the strikes.

Lebanon’s state-run national news agency also reported Israeli airstrikes, saying they “targeted a residential building in the town of Ansar … south of Baalbek”. “Fire and plumes of smoke could be seen rising from the targeted location,” the NNA added.

The city of Baalbek, in the Beqaa valley, is a Hezbollah bastion that borders Syria. On 26 February, Israeli strikes targeted Baalbek, about 100 km (62 miles) from the border, killing two Hezbollah members in the deepest such raid into Lebanese territory since the hostilities began.

Hezbollah has repeatedly said that it would stop its attacks on Israel only after a ceasefire in Gaza. But the Israeli defence minister, Yoav Gallant, said recently that any truce would not change Israel’s goal of pushing Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon, by force or diplomacy.

Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October, at least 316 people – mainly Hezbollah fighters – and 53 civilians have been killed in Lebanon, according to an AFP tally.