JERUSALEM — The Israeli army announced plans to evacuate the northern city of Kiryat Shmona on Friday (Oct 20), after days of clashes with Hezbollah fighters along the border with Lebanon.
“A short while ago, the Northern Command informed the mayor of the city of the decision. The plan will be managed by the local authority, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Defence,” the military said in a statement.
Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah and allied Palestinian factions have traded cross-border fire with Israel for days, after Hamas gunmen attacked communities in southern Israel on Oct 7, killing at least 1,400 people, most of them civilians, according to Israeli officials.
More than 3,700 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed across the Gaza Strip in retaliatory Israeli bombardments, according to figures from its Hamas-run health ministry.
Israel’s military said its forces continued to target Hezbollah targets as tensions grew along the border.
“The IDF (Israel Defense Forces) carried out a number of attacks against Hezbollah infrastructure, including observation posts,” the army said early on Friday.
“In addition, IDF fighter jets struck three terrorists who attempted to launch anti-tank missiles toward Israel.”
Israeli authorities have been steadily evacuating communities across the northern frontier, as reservists and columns of tanks and armoured vehicles poured into the area.
The Shiite Muslim Hezbollah movement, Lebanon’s only armed faction that did not disarm after the 1975-1990 civil war, last fought a major conflict with Israel in 2006.
That war left more than 1,200 dead in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and 160 in Israel, mostly soldiers, in a conflict that left deep scars and the border bristling with guns. AFP