The Israeli military said Sunday that Hezbollah struck an air traffic control base in northern Israel and warned of “another war” with the Lebanon-based militant group as tensions in the region rise.
The Israeli military said that Hezbollah struck the air traffic control base on Mount Meron on Saturday, but that air defenses were not affected because a backup system was in place, The Associated Press reported.
Hezbollah said the attack on the air traffic control base was an “initial response” to the alleged Israeli assassination of a top Hamas official in Beirut earlier this month, according to the news service.
The Israeli military said no soldiers were injured and that any damage will be repaired. The Israeli military chief of staff, Lt. Col. Herzi Halevi, cautioned that Hezbollah will either pull back due to military pressure “or we will get to another war.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also issued a stark warning to Hezbollah, an ally of the militant group Hamas.
“I suggest that Hezbollah learn what Hamas has already learned in recent months: No terrorist is immune,” Netanyahu told his Cabinet. “We are determined to defend our citizens and to return the residents of the north safely to their homes.”
Hezbollah has been targeting sites near the border with Israel since Israel’s war with Hamas broke out in October.
The AP also reported that an Israeli airstrike killed an Hezbollah commander in southern Lebanon on Monday, citing a Lebanese security official.
The escalation comes amid Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to the Middle East. After meeting with Qatari Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on Sunday, Blinken emphasized the need to stop the war from spreading even further.
“And indeed, thank you for the work that we’ve been doing from the start, since October 7th and the horrific attacks on Israel,” Blinken said. “It’s now, as you said, been three months since those attacks, and this is a moment of profound tension in the region. This is a conflict that could easily metastasize, causing even more insecurity and even more suffering.”
“So from day one, among other priorities, we have been intensely focused on working to prevent the conflict from spreading, and that is indeed a major focus of what is now my fourth visit to the region since October 7,” he added.
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