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Israel strikes Hezbollah positions just over northern border as DM Gallant threatens ‘hot summer’

Israeli soldier killed, one wounded by mortar fire from southern Lebanon

IAF attacks on terrorist infrastructures, military buildings and ammunition depots of Hezbollah, May 2024. (Photo: Screenshot)

An Israeli soldier was killed by Hezbollah mortar fire aimed at a position of the Israel Defense Forces near the town of Malkia on Wednesday, the IDF announced amid continuous fire exchange between Israel and the terror group over the past several days.

Another IDF soldier was lightly injured by the Hezbollah attack using mortars and rockets and took place almost simultaneously while Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant was touring the border and warning that a “hot summer” of fighting against Hezbollah may be ahead.

The soldier who perished in the attack was identified as 20-year-old Staff Sgt. Haim Sabach. He served in the IDF’s Border Defense Corps and was a resident of Holon, the army said.

The terror group subsequently fired four anti-tank missiles at Israeli targets, including a junction on a major highway in an area relatively distant from the border, which has not yet been evacuated.

The attacks did not result in any injuries or major damage.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant Holds Operational Assessment on the Northern Border, on May 8, 2024 (Photo: Ariel Hermoni (IMoD).

On Wednesday morning, Gallant visited the troops stationed on the border and said they have proven themselves “in an impressive way. Now you have to prepare for the upcoming [missions], and this summer could be a hot summer.”

He reiterated that Israel was committed to allowing the return of Israeli residents from the north as soon as possible and to rebuilding the devastated communities in the area.

“We have very significant, very heavy firepower and we will be sure to activate these should there be a need and a reason,” Gallant said in a warning to Hezbollah.

The death of IDF soldier Haim Sabach followed the killing of two reserve soldiers by a drone strike on Monday. The conflict is part of the latest escalation that began on Sunday when Hezbollah fired several large rocket barrages at the city of Kiryat Shmona.

Since Hezbollah began its attacks in October, nine Israeli civilians and 14 IDF soldiers and reservists have been killed.

Israel answered with waves of airstrikes against Hezbollah targets across southern Lebanon, including a series of precision strikes against some 20 targets located just dozens of meters over the border, near the Lebanese town of Ramyeh and the town of Zar'it on the Israeli side.

The IDF said the targets included weapons caches, pointing to the secondary explosions seen in footage the army published later in the day.

On Thursday morning, the IDF struck a car traveling near the town of Bafliyeh in southern Lebanon, killing four passengers, according to Lebanese reports. The Saudi newspaper al-Hadath reported that two of the suspects eliminated were operatives of Hezbollah’s elite Radwan Force.

The terror group announced the death of two members on Wednesday, the first time in over two weeks that Hezbollah members were killed in Israeli strikes in Lebanon. In addition, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organization (PIJ) stated that three of its members were also eliminated.

Since October, when Hezbollah began supporting Hamas in the conflict with Israel, the group has officially reported the deaths of 291 of its members., Hezbollah officially confirmed the deaths of 291 of its members, while 59 operatives from other terror groups, a Lebanese soldier, and around 60 civilians have been killed.

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

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