Israel Gaza war: Israeli minister warns Hezbollah over border fighting

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Fighting on the Israeli-Lebanese border earlier this week
By James Gregory
BBC News

Israel’s military will act to remove Hezbollah from the border with Lebanon if its attacks continue, an Israeli minister has warned.

Benny Gantz said the IDF would intervene if the world and the Lebanese government did not stop militants from firing on northern Israel.

Time for a diplomatic solution was running out, he added.

Cross-border exchanges of fire have been escalating since Hamas’s 7 October attacks on Israel.

It has led to concerns the conflict in Gaza could become wider across the region.

“The situation on Israel’s northern border demands change,” Mr Gantz told a press conference on Wednesday night.

“The stopwatch for a diplomatic solution is running out, if the world and the Lebanese government don’t act in order to prevent the firing on Israel’s northern residents, and to distance Hezbollah from the border, the IDF will do it.”

There has been an increase in rocket fire and the use of weaponised drones by Hezbollah this week, with Israeli war planes quick to respond.

State media in Lebanon reported on Wednesday that a Hezbollah fighter and two of his relatives had been killed in an Israeli air strike.

The attack reportedly hit a house in Bint Jbeil, a town about 2km (1.2 miles) from the border with Israel.

Benny Gantz, an opposition figure, agreed to enter into an emergency government with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the wake of the 7 October attacks

A Hezbollah statement said one of the victims, Ibrahim Bazzi, was an Australian citizen who was visiting his family.

More than 100 people have been killed in Lebanon – most of them Hezbollah fighters but civilians, including three journalists, are also among the dead.

Hezbollah, a Shia Muslim organisation, is designated a terrorist organisation by Western states, Israel, Gulf Arab countries and the Arab League.

Its leadership praised the unprecedented cross-border attack launched by Hamas gunmen on southern Israel on 7 October, in which at least 1,200 people were killed – most of them civilians – and about 240 others were taken hostage.

More than 21,100 people have been killed in Gaza – mostly children and women – during 11 weeks of fighting, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

Thousands of Palestinian families in Gaza are trying to find shelter as Israel broadens its ground offensive across the centre and south of the territory.

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3 November