Lebanese Condemn Deadly Israeli Attack On Nabatiyeh


By Najia Houssari

An Israeli strike killed a Hezbollah commander, two fighters and seven civilians in the southern Lebanese city of Nabatiyeh, a security source said on Thursday, raising fears of further escalation.

Eight civilians were wounded, including an infant who was pulled from rubble. The attack, widely condemned by the Lebanese public, caused panic among the city’s residents.

Universities and schools in Nabatiyeh were closed on Thursday, while the city’s governor closed government offices and businesses in the area.

Najib Mikati, caretaker prime minister, said: “An urgent new complaint will be filed to the UN Security Council against Israel. While we call on all parties to commit to de-escalation, we find the Israeli enemy persisting in its aggression, prompting us to question the international parties concerned with initiatives taken to restrain the enemy.”

Nabatiyeh is situated north of the Litani Line, outside the area where hostile operations between Hezbollah and Israel have been ongoing for 131 days.

The Israeli military has violated the rules of engagement more than once, extending its attacks to the southern suburbs of Beirut.

Rescue and civil defense teams continued to search for missing individuals under the rubble of the targeted three-story building. They pulled alive the infant, Hussein Ali Amer, after more than four hours of searching.

They retrieved five deceased — Hussein Ahmed Daher Berjawi, his daughters Amani and Zeinab, his sister Fatima and his grandson Mahmoud Ali Amer — and transferred them to hospitals in Nabatiyeh.

The search continued for the bodies of Berjawi’s wife Amal Mahmoud Audi and his niece Ghadeer Tarhini.

Berjawi’s son-in-law Ali Amer and several wounded individuals were also sent to hospitals in Nabatiyeh.

Israeli bombing of southern Lebanese border towns resumed its previous intensity on Thursday.

Israeli army radio reported: “The security service assessed the internal front’s readiness for the scenario of war in the northern region.”

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant informed his US counterpart Lloyd Austin that “there will be no leniency in responding to Hezbollah attacks.”

According to Al-Arabiya channel, Gallant said: “Our planes in the skies of Beirut carry heavy bombs capable of hitting distant targets, and the current escalation against Hezbollah is only a 10th of what we can do. We can attack up to 50 km deep in Beirut and any other place.”

Hezbollah announced on Thursday that it had targeted “espionage equipment at the Israeli Al-Marj military site, scoring a direct hit.”

It also targeted “the Israeli Zibdin barracks in the occupied Shebaa Farms using a Falaq-1 rocket, resulting in a direct hit,” as well as “espionage equipment at the Israeli military site in the Al-Raheb area with suitable weaponry, also achieving a direct hit,” and “the radar site belonging to the Israeli army in the occupied Shebaa Farms.”

Meanwhile, Hezbollah mourned its members Ali Al-Dabs, Hussein Ahmed Aqil and Hassan Ibrahim Issa.

A flurry of diplomatic efforts has been underway to stave off further escalation. Lebanese Army Commander Gen. Joseph Aoun held discussions with Joanna Wronecka, special representative of the UN secretary-general in Lebanon, on “developments along the southern borders.”

Stephane Dujarric, the secretary-general’s spokesperson, said the “dangerous” escalation “must stop.”

He highlighted observations by the UN Interim Force in Lebanon, indicating a shift in the exchange of fire between Israeli forces and armed groups in Lebanon, with incidents occurring beyond the Blue Line.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator Imran Riza said in a statement: “The deliberate targeting of civilians is deeply troubling. Among the casualties are innocent children, mothers, and grandparents.

“The rules of engagement are crystal clear: all parties involved must safeguard civilians, and these principles must be upheld. Innocent civilians should never be caught in the crossfire.”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said: “The situation in Lebanon is serious, but it has not yet reached the point of no return. France is actively involved in seeking a resolution to the conflict, aiming to prevent further bloodshed and the onset of a new war in Lebanon.”

Meanwhile, US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller voiced “Washington’s apprehension regarding the escalating tensions between the parties involved,” adding: “Diplomatic efforts are underway to quell the situation and find a peaceful resolution.”

Sheikh Nabil Qaouq, a member of Hezbollah’s Central Council, said: “The conflict persists as long as aggression continues against Gaza.”

He highlighted the unwavering resolve of the resistance to counter Israel’s persistent threats with equal measures of escalation, displacement and destruction.

The attack in Nabatiyeh triggered widespread condemnation in Lebanon. Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri labeled it “a premeditated and calculated atrocity, placing responsibility for the victims’ blood squarely on international envoys, the UN, and human rights organizations.

“Urgent action is demanded to halt Israel’s lethal actions and restrain the leaders of the occupying entity, who are steering the region toward a catastrophic war.”

Progressive Socialist Party leader and MP Taymur Jumblatt warned of “the potential expansion of the conflict due to the actions of Israel, the US, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.” Jumblatt highlighted Hezbollah’s efforts “to de-escalate tensions and stabilize the situation.”

Kataeb Party leader and MP Sami Gemayel unequivocally rejected and condemned all Israeli justifications for targeting civilians.

He also highlighted “the toll borne by the Lebanese population due to Hezbollah’s unilateral actions to engage in the southern battle in solidarity with Gaza.”

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *