Fear stalks Northern Israel, locals in the area near Israel’s precarious northern border with Lebanon worry that the death in Beirut of the Palestinian terror group Hamas’ deputy political leader could lead to conflict on another front.
Fear Stalks Northern Israel After Beirut Strike Kills Hamas Deputy
In the course of the nearly three months of combat in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, the Israeli army has also had to deal with cross-border shooting from the terror organization Hezbollah in Lebanon, which is affiliated with Hamas.
Tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes due to Hezbollah rocket fire along the border and into northern cities. At least 143 Hezbollah agents have been killed in Israel, along with several soldiers and civilians.
The murder of Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri in a strike in a Beirut neighborhood on Tuesday further soured the already tense atmosphere in the seaside city of Nahariya.
Hamas and Lebanese security officials blamed Israel, which hasn’t responded to the assassination explicitly.
Owner of a clothes store Lee Zorviv said, “We didn’t know whether to send our children to school in the morning… fearing Hezbollah’s response to what happened yesterday.”
Hezbollah called Arouri’s murder “a serious assault on Lebanon… and a dangerous development” and declared that it would not go unpunished.
Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, declared the death of Arouri to be “a major, dangerous crime about which we cannot be silent” on Tuesday and accused Israel of being behind it.
After a protracted conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006, the UN Security Council issued a resolution requiring Hezbollah to cease its armed activities close to Israel’s border. The resolution’s portion has not been put into practice.
Peacekeepers from the United Nations who monitor the border issued a warning on Wednesday, claiming that any further escalation might have “devastating consequences.”
UNIFIL deputy spokeswoman Kandice Ardiel said, “We continue to implore all parties to cease their fire, and any interlocutors with influence to urge restraint.”
Iran-supported It is thought that Hezbollah has accumulated a sizable arsenal of weapons in recent years, while Israel has benefited from American military assistance.
The forty-year-old Zorviv claimed that individuals often checked their phones for information and that the school day had been cut short.
She remarked, “It’s a really bad, unfortunate situation.” “Morale has fallen.”We feel afraid.”
The Gaza War began on October 7, when Hamas attacked Israel in a way never seen before, killing almost 1,200 people, the majority of them civilians.
At least 240 individuals of all ages, including children, were kidnapped by thousands of terrorists who broke through the border with Gaza and were brought inside the country as hostages.
Israel has launched a relentless military attack, including a ground incursion, intending to destroy Hamas, ousting it from power in Gaza, and freeing the 133 hostages still held captive.
More than 22,300 Palestinians have died in Gaza since the conflict began, according to the health ministry operated by Hamas. These numbers, which have not been independently confirmed, are said to include 8,500 Hamas fighters as well as civilians killed by Palestinian rockets that misfired. Over 1,000 more terrorists are thought to have died in Israel as a result of the October 7 attack.
Nahariya’s citizens are already facing financial hardships while they worry about a potential war with Lebanon. According to Zorviv, store sales have dropped by half in the last several weeks, and some companies have closed.
Beyond the fisherman and a few brave swimmers who brave the winter waters, battleships can be seen from the waterfront.
The location was referred to as a “closed military zone” by a soldier. Many, from the elderly to the young, described how panic gripped Nahariya.
David, who did not want to reveal his last name, said more violence was sure to come in the city center. “There will be a war. “Something is going to happen,” the 54-year-old jobless man stated. “Israel will either respond [to the death] or respond forcefully to Hezbollah. It’s just a question of time.
The Israeli military declared itself to be “in a very high state of readiness in all arenas” after Arouri was killed. Army spokesman Daniel Hagari stated, “We are highly prepared for any scenario,” without making any reference to the strike in Beirut.
People with automatic guns were spotted across the city; some were dressed in military garb, while others were not. Zorviv declared, “We’re scared.” “War is declared upon us.”