Israeli air and ground forces attack targets in Lebanon for the first time since 2006
Israel stood on the brink of all-out conflict with Hezbollah on Wednesday after launching air and ground strikes against the Lebanese Shia group in retaliation for an attack on a military convoy that killed two soldiers and injured seven others.
A Spanish member of a United Nations peacekeeping force was also killed in the border town of Ghajar, which straddles the frontier between Israel and Lebanon. The incidents amounted to the most dangerous escalation on Israel’s northern border since the last war in Lebanon in 2006.
Israel told the United Nations it would take “all necessary measures” to defend itself. “Israel will not stand by as Hezbollah targets Israelis,” wrote Ron Prosor, the Israeli ambassador to the UN, in a letter to the Security Council. “Israel will not accept any attacks on its territory and it will exercise its right to self-defence and take all necessary measures to protect its population.”
The hostilities followed more than a week of sabre-rattling after an Israeli helicopter strike that killed six Hezbollah members and an Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander in a Syrian area of the Golan Heights on Jan 18.
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