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Israel, Lebanon's Hezbollah in cross-border clashes

A woman holds up a photo of Lebanon's Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah at a rally on Saturday.

Ahmad Al-Rubaye AFP


Cross-border clashes erupted on Saturday between the Israeli military and Hezbollah in Lebanon with both sides claiming to have struck the other's positions along the border.

The latest fighting came a day after Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah warned that the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip could turn into a regional conflict if Israel pushed on with its offensive in the Palestinian territory.

On Saturday, the Israeli military said it had struck "two terrorist cells" and a Hezbollah post after an attempted attack from Lebanon.

"In response to two terrorist cells attempting to fire from Lebanon toward Israeli territory, the IDF (military) struck the cells and a Hezbollah observation post," a military statement said.

Hezbollah said it had simultaneously attacked five Israeli positions along the border.  Several hours later it announced a new attack on the Al-Abbad Israeli position, without specifying what kind of weapon was used.

Israel's military said in a separate statement that its fighter jets struck "terror targets" of Hezbollah, accompanied by tank and artillery fire.

In his first speech since the Israel-Hamas war broke out four weeks ago, Nasrallah warned Friday that "all options" were open for an expansion of the conflict to Lebanon as he blamed the United States for the war in Gaza.

"Whoever wants to prevent a regional war -- and this is addressed to the Americans -- must quickly stop the aggression on Gaza," he said.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday reaffirmed US support for "humanitarian pauses" in fighting between Israel and Hamas to ensure people in the besieged Gaza Strip get help.

Speaking at a news conference in Amman about sparing civilians and speeding up aid deliveries, Blinken said: "The United States believes that all of these efforts will be facilitated by humanitarian pauses."

Since October 7, Israel has been engaged in a fierce war with Gaza rulers Hamas after the Palestinian militant group carried out a deadly attack in southern Israel that killed 1,400 people, mainly civilians, according to Israeli officials.

Israel has retaliated with relentless strikes and a ground invasion of Gaza, where more than 9,400 people, also mostly civilians, have been killed, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.

AFP