Hezbollah vows to retaliate after deadly Israeli airstrikes in Lebanon

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Hezbollah has vowed to retaliate against Israel in response to deadly airstrikes that Lebanon state media reported has now killed 10 people, according to reports.

The pledge comes after Lebanese strikes killed an Israeli soldier Wednesday, prompting Israel to respond with its own deadly counterstrikes, which hit the city of Nabatiyeh and a village in southern Lebanon. Israel has blamed Hezbollah for the attack, but the Iran-backed militant group has not claimed responsibility, the Associated Press reported.

“The enemy (Israel) will pay the price for these crimes,” Senior Hezbollah official and member of parliament Hassan Fadlallah told Reuters on Thursday, when asked about the Israeli strikes.

Fadlallah also said Hezbollah has a “legitimate right to defend its people and will not flinch in doing what is needed to protect it,” per the international news wire, and called on Israel to stop the war in Gaza.

Avi Hyman, a spokesperson from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office, also said Israel’s army would continue to respond to attacks from Hezbollah.

“Our message to Hezbollah has and always will be: Don’t try us,” Hyman said, the AP reported.  

Media outlets reported Thursday that there were more Israeli strikes in southern Lebanon, which the Israeli military said targeted Hezbollah infrastructure and launch posts, according to the AP. The strikes were carried out near the border towns of Labbouneh, Wadi Slouqi, Majdal Selm and Houla.

The escalation comes amid months of exchanges of fire between Israel and Hezbollah on the northern border, as Israel also engages in a military offensive in the south, against Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza.

According to the AP, Wednesday was the deadliest day in the four months of attacks on the northern border.

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