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Israeli minister calls for declaring war on Lebanon amid cross-border clashes with Hezbollah

Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel's far-right national security minister, urged the government on Tuesday to declare war on Lebanon.

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published March 12,2024
Israel's Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir (File Photo)

Israel's far-right National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir called on his government on Tuesday to declare war on Lebanon.

"We have to start responding, attacking - war, now," Ben-Gvir said in a statement on X.

"[Defense Minister Yoav] Gallant, the military is your responsibility. What are you waiting for?" he added.

His call came shortly after Israeli Army Radio reported that around 100 rockets had been launched into Israel from southern Lebanon on Tuesday.

The Israeli army responded by launching airstrikes in Baalbek, a Hezbollah stronghold in eastern Lebanon, which left one person dead and eight others injured, according to Lebanon's state-run National News Agency.

The Israeli army also said it targeted Hezbollah structure and a military building in the border towns of Bint Jbeil and Khiam in southern Lebanon.

Tension has flared along the border between Lebanon and Israel amid intermittent exchanges of weapons fire between Israeli forces and Hezbollah, in the deadliest clashes since the two sides fought a full-scale war in 2006.

The border tension comes amid an Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip, which has killed nearly 31,200 people following a Hamas attack last October.

At least 300 people are estimated to have been killed in Lebanon, including 240 Hezbollah fighters, since the clashes erupted last October. Nearly 20 Israelis have been killed, according to Israeli figures.