Israel Continues Attacks on Southern Lebanon as Hezbollah Takes Holiday Break

Artillery strikes reported on villages a day after killing commander

On Tuesday, Israel continued to carry out attacks against southern Lebanon. The strikes are a daily occurrence in the area, where about 100,000 civilians have fled from the mostly agricultural part of the country.

Artillery fire was reported to have hit the villages of Khiyam and Kfar Chouba. These are regular targets for Israel, but initial reports are that no casualties were incurred, and it is still unclear what was being targeted.

The attacks came a day after Israel carried out a drone strike in the Tyre District, also in southern Lebanon, killing Muhammad Ahmed Ayoub, who was described in subsequent reports as a “field commander.” Hezbollah confirmed the death of Ayoub.

This is happening during a period of relative calm during which Hezbollah has not fired against northern Israel. It is speculated that the lack of fire against the area is because of the holiday of Eid al-Adha.

Eid al-Adha is an important religious feast in Islam and marks the annual end to the Hajj in Saudi Arabia. Eid lasts for several days and is marked by the sacrifice of cattle and prayers.

That isn’t to say that Hezbollah is totally idle. The group released drone video footage of Haifa, its port, and other important military targets, saying more than half the Israeli economy is “within range.”

The fighting between Israel and Hezbollah has been ongoing since October, and attacks on both sides have been escalating in recent weeks. The Israeli government has threatened an all-out war if no political settlement is reached, and US envoy Amos Hochstein is visiting the area to try to prevent further escalation.

Israeli officials have repeatedly suggested a truce in the Gaza Strip could be an opportunity for further escalation into Lebanon. Although spinning its operations in Lebanon as purely reactive, the fact that Israeli attacks continue while the Lebanon side of the border is quiet may presage such an escalation.

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.