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northern front

Israeli soldier killed, 8 others wounded by Hezbollah rockets – IDF responds with ‘extensive wave of attacks’

‘Long way to go to restore security in the north,’ says Israeli army chief

A military helicopter evacuates injured people from the Ziv Medical Center in Tzfat, after being injured earlier today from a missile fired by Hezbollah at a military base in Safed, Feb. 14, 2024. (Photo: Ayal Margolin/Flash90)

In a serious escalation of the simmering conflict between the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah and Israel, a rocket barrage fired at the Israeli city of Safed from southern Lebanon killed an Israeli female soldier and wounded eight others, the Israeli Defense Force and medical services reported on Wednesday.

The barrage targeted the IDF Northern Command base close to Safed, as well as the areas of Netoa and Manara. Safed’s municipality also said that some rockets hit the city’s industrial zone and an area near Ziv Hospital.

The fallen soldier was identified as 20-year-old Omer Sarah Benjo, who served in the 91st Division. The wounded soldiers were evacuated to nearby hospitals, with one being in serious and another in moderate condition.

The barrage included 11 rockets, of which 9 were intercepted but 2 exploded in the Northern Command base and killed Benjo as she was running to take cover. The rockets were of a regular, unguided type, Army Radio reported.

The attack was most likely carried out by Hezbollah or one of its affiliated groups that haven’t officially taken responsibility for the attack.

“Those who are responsible for the shooting from Lebanon are not only Hezbollah or terrorist elements that carry it out but also the government and the state of Lebanon which allows the shooting from its territory and there is no target or military infrastructure in the area of the north and Lebanon that is not in our sights,” said War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz on Wednesday.

In response to the attack, Israeli forces struck military compounds, operational control rooms, and terrorist infrastructure across southern Lebanon. Several targets belonged to Hezbollah’s elite Radwan Force, the IDF stressed.

Among the attacked areas were Jabal al-Burij, Hona, Dunin, and Adshit, some of which are located deep inside Lebanon and far from the border.

Following Lebanese reports of several persons killed in the Israeli attacks, Hezbollah announced that one of its terrorists was eliminated in Adshit.

The attack on the city of Safed, whose residents, unlike those in towns closer to the border have not been evacuated, is a relatively rare escalation of the skirmishes which so far have mainly concentrated on the immediate border regions.

“This is a step up in Israel’s war against Hezbollah, and I have declared a state of emergency in the city,” the Mayor of Safed, Shuki Ohana, told local news media.

“Although the city of Safed is located about 11-12 km [8 miles] from the Lebanese border and is not close to the border - there are sensitive strategic assets in our area that Hezbollah is aware of - and tries to damage them every time, so I demand that Safed be included in the government’s plans to strengthen the north.”

“I know that the residents of the north will return to their homes and the authorities of the north will return to prosperity,” IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi said at a meeting with mayors from northern Israel.

“There are very high achievements in hitting Hezbollah in Lebanon, but we continue to act - this is not the point to stop. We are increasing the damage all the time and they pay an increasing price. “

“The next campaign will be very offensive and we will use all tools and abilities. There is still a long way to go and we will walk it together,” Halevi stated.

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

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