Israeli Airstrikes Kill a Woman and Child in Southern Lebanon

Engineer brigade clears 30 km of border routes between Lebanon, Israel

Israel continued its escalation of operations against southern Lebanon on Wednesday, firing airstrikes against a series of towns and villages in the area. An engineering brigade was also dispatched into Lebanon to clear out 30 kilometers of all border routes between the area and northern Israel.

The Israeli military claimed that the targets hit included three “operational headquarters” of Hezbollah, although there was no word of any Hezbollah casualties, but a strike on a house in Majdal Zun killed a woman and wounded her child. The woman was identified in reports as Khadija Salman. A second, unidentified girl was also reported slain in the strike.

Hezbollah responded to the latest day of strikes with rocket fire of their own, hitting the kibbutz of Metula. A house was hit in the kibbutz, but no casualties were reported on the Israeli side. Hezbollah reported that it was attacking military installations in the area in response to Israeli attacks on civilian homes.

The latest round of attacks comes a day after Defense Minister Yoav Gallant bragged that Israel could hit “any corner” of Lebanon that they wished. So far, however, the majority of strikes have just hit southern border areas, with the occasional hit as far north as the coastal city of Sidon.

The town of Ghaziyeh, near Sidon was hit earlier this week, with airstrikes causing major fires and damages against a pair of factories in the town. The Israeli military maintains that the factories were weapons depots for Hezbollah, although owners were quoted in Lebanese media saying that was not the case and that the premises contained no weapons.

Israel presents the attacks on southern Lebanon as targeting Hezbollah in general. Israel has demanded that Hezbollah be removed from the border region, as the two sides have been trading strikes across the border since early October, with no end in sight. Hezbollah says they intend to continue to support the Palestinians despite Israeli escalation of attacks on Lebanon.

Last week, Israeli airstrikes against southern Lebanon killed at least 10 civilians. Hezbollah retaliated for the strikes by firing anti-tank rockets into Israel’s north, while Israel responded by attacking sites they claimed were the source of the rockets. This led to retaliation from Hezbollah and then with retaliation from Israel, which is how this campaign of strikes has dragged on for months.

Polls show that while Lebanon in general does not want to see an Israeli offensive against the country, a two-thirds majority supports Hezbollah, believing the group is concerned with the Lebanese national interest.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.