Israeli Airstrikes Pound Southern Lebanon, Killing One

Hezbollah ‘testing’ Iron Dome defenses, Israel downs explosive drone

Israel reported carrying out multiple airstrikes against the towns of Aitaroun and Ayta ash-Shab in southern Lebanon, attacks that followed overnight strikes on Matmoura and a nearby observation post. In all cases Israel said the targets were buildings or targets being used by Hezbollah.

Lebanese military sources noted that in the attacks on Aitaroun a house was hit in one strike, killing a Hezbollah member and wounding at least three civilians. Bulldozers and ambulances rushed to rescue those trapped within. In addition, 11 houses were reported destroyed in other towns.

Hezbollah responded with rocket fire, which they said was retaliation for the shelling of Dhayra, in which a civilian was reported killed. Several of the rockets were intercepted, but at least one hit the town of Metula, damaging a house.

Israeli media reported the increase in low-cost rocket fire amounted to Hezbollah “fire-testing” the Iron Dome system, hoping to find a way to get through Israeli defensive systems and allowing a greater percentage of their fire to hit their targets.

Two drones were reported in Northern Israel coming out of Lebanon. One of the drones, described as explosive-laden, was reported shot down by Israeli troops, while the second crashed without causing any damage or casualties.

These come just two days after Israel attacked the town of Houla, killing four civilians and destroying a home within. Israel reported the attack of Houla as targeting a Hezbollah-used building, though indications were the casualties were just civilians.

Worldwide aid groups issued a joint statement urging the cessation of hostilities in southern Lebanon, warning of a growing number of civilian deaths and the displacement of 91,000+ residents from the area.

Lebanese officials have said talks are likely in the upcoming holy month of Ramadan, though most agree that any chance of the deal hinges on reaching a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, where talks are still ongoing.

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.