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Israel adopts policy of ‘active defense’ against Hezbollah, strikes targets deep inside Lebanon

Hezbollah claims it will continue to pressure Israel as long as war in Gaza continues

Smoke rises during an exchange of fire between the IDF and Hezbollah terrorists on the border between Israel and Lebanon, November 18, 2023. (Photo: Ayal Margolin/Flash90)

Skirmishes between Israel and the Hezbollah terror organization on the Israel-Lebanon border continued this weekend, as Israel announced a more aggressive policy in response to Hezbollah’s daily attacks.

Speaking at a situation assessment at the northern border on Saturday, Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said, “We have adopted a policy of active defense – exacting a price against every threat – from the air and from the ground, with great force.”

This new policy was seemingly already in full effect earlier in the day, as Israeli airstrikes targeted an aluminum factory in the Lebanese town of Nabatiye, in an area deep inside Lebanese territory that Israel had not struck since the Lebanon war in 2006.

The factory that was struck belonged to a Hezbollah-affiliated businessman and was producing aluminum for the Iranian-sponsored “axis of resistance,” Israeli media reported.

“We exact a price for every threat, hitting imminent threats and Hezbollah infrastructure,” Gallant added.

Until now, Israel has concentrated on returning immediate fire at Hezbollah units that opened fire and struck targets near the border area in southern Lebanon.

Another indication of a more aggressive Israeli policy can be seen in unconfirmed Lebanese reports that Israeli fighter jets carried out mock attacks over the stronghold of Hezbollah in southern Beirut.

Similar reports came from the port city of Sidon, where Israeli jets swept over the city from the sea while producing sonic booms by breaking the sound barrier.

The attack on the factory followed an attempt by Hezbollah to shoot down an Israeli drone with an anti-aircraft missile in the morning, an attack that was thwarted by the Israeli army.

In direct response to the attack, the Israeli Air Force later destroyed an advanced air-to-air missile system belonging to Hezbollah.

The terror organization has continued its recent policy of claiming public responsibility for its attacks, publishing five statements before noon on Saturday after 13 other such claims on Friday.

The organization again fired anti-tank missiles, mortar grenades and rockets at Israeli positions and towns throughout the day.

Toward noon, a barrage of some 25 rockets was fired at the areas of Sasa and Shtula in Israel. The IDF also intercepted a suspicious aerial target, possibly a drone, over Lebanese territory.

Israel published no reports of injuries or damage caused by the attacks.

Following every incident of fire opened against Israel, the Israeli army stated that it responded immediately by shelling the launch areas with artillery and tanks.

In retaliation for Hezbollah’s attacks, the IDF also carried out airstrikes against military compounds and terrorist positions in Lebanon.

Hezbollah has shown no signs of letting up its attacks against Israel, which began immediately after the start of the war when thousands of Hamas terrorists invaded Israeli border communities in the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7.

The head of the Hezbollah executive council, Hashem Safi al-Din, said that the “resistance” forces in the region would continue to pressure Israel as long as the war in Gaza continues.

“It will not stop, there is no place to talk about the cessation of operations on the various fronts and the cessation of pressure to allow Israel complete freedom of action to harm Gaza,” Safi al-Din said on Saturday.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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