Hezbollah launches rocket fire in response to Israeli air raids

The Lebanese group, Hezbollah, has said it fired rockets at open ground near Israeli positions in response to Israeli air raids on southern Lebanon, drawing retaliatory Israeli strikes.

In a statement on Friday, Hezbollah said it had fired “dozens” of rockets in the disputed Shebaa Farms area after Israeli fighters early on Thursday launched rare air raids on neighbouring Lebanon following a second day of rocket fire across the border.

The Iranian-backed and heavily armed Shia group also said the Israeli air attacks had hit open ground in Lebanon.

Later on Friday, the Israeli military said it had struck “the rocket launch sites in Lebanon”.

Israel said it did not wish to escalate to a full war, though it was ready for one.

“More than 10 rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israeli territory. Most of the rockets were intercepted by the … aerial defence system while the rest of them landed in open areas adjacent to Har Dov,” the disputed Shebaa Farms border district, the air force said on Twitter.

Israel’s Army Radio also reported that the military fired shells and artillery towards parts of southern Lebanon under the control of Hezbollah.

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