Israel Hurls Fireballs at Farmland in Southern Lebanon

Fireballs used to start fires in dense vegetation near border

Israeli attacks on southern Lebanon have already seriously damaged area farmland, and now it appears the situation is getting worse and less incidental.  Footage shows Israel using a literal trebuchet to launch fireballs across the border at farms, setting serious fires.

Trebuchets are a rotating arm variety of catapult, and were commonly used in the Middle Ages as a weapon for siege warfare. It isn’t clear why Israel’s military has such weapons in this day and age, as they fell out of favor in the 15th century.

Supposedly, the fireballs are being used to clear out the dense vegetation from the border region, as Israeli officials suggest that such areas serve as potential hiding areas for militants, which complicates defense in the area.

In practice, both sides increasingly use fire as a weapon of war. Hezbollah’s rocket fire often hits open brushy areas in northern Israel, setting fires that Israeli fire services struggle to contain. Widespread destruction of farmland has resulted from Israel’s general attack on southern Lebanon and has greatly damaged the main economic infrastructure of the region.

Hezbollah fired an estimated 40 rockets against northern Israel on Thursday. The group said nine different military sites were targeted. Several resulting fires were reported as well as two Israeli wounded.

Israeli fighters carried out an attack today on the area of Deir Seryan in southern Lebanon, attacking what was described as “infrastructure.” Israel also claimed to have intercepted three drones launched from the Lebanese south.

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.