Overnight Israeli Strike Kills Two Women, Wounds 20 in Lebanon

Attack on Hezbollah ‘base’ also hit neighboring residential building

Israeli warplanes targeted the village of Jennata overnight on Thursday, hitting a residential building near what was described by witnesses as a Hezbollah “base.” Two women were reported killed and at least 20 wounded.

Rescue teams were still on the site recovering bodies, and said the toll was not finalized. One of the confirmed slain was Sally Sakiki, a local nurse. The other victim has been identified as Dalal Ezzedine.

The focus is still on rescuing anyone who may be trapped in the rubble of the three-story building.

Israel has yet to comment on the attack, or why a residential building of such size was targeted. The media says Israel’s army is investigating reports of the casualties inflicted in the strike.

While a loud explosion and building collapse was part of the story early on, initial reports suggested that Hashem Safieddine, generally considered number two in Hezbollah, had been slain in the strike. While the strike was near his home village, subsequent reports suggest Safieddine was not present at the site of the attack.

On Wednesday, a day before the strike, Saffiedine had warned that Hezbollah would “intensify [its] operations” against Israel in retaliation for killing Hezbollah senior commander Taleb Abdallah, saying it should “prepare for weeping and wailing.”

In efforts to target Hezbollah over the last eight months, hitting houses and other residential buildings has been all too common, particularly in southern Lebanon where the strikes have been focused. Though officially presented as targeting “Hezbollah infrastructure,” the strikes often result in civilian casualties.

The overnight attack came hours after Israel spent the day using a medieval trebuchet to throw fireballs over the border wall, setting fire to the brush near Lebanese farmlands. Hezbollah fired rockets back across the border, wounding at least two in northern Israel.

In recent months fire has become increasingly common problem on both sides of the border. Israel incendiaries cause fires and damages southern Lebanese farmland, and Hezbollah rocket fire ignites open fields near military targets, causing fires that the Israeli fire service struggles to contain.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. 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.