June 5, 2024 | Flash Brief

Hezbollah Hits Border Village as Israel Warns of War

June 5, 2024 | Flash Brief

Hezbollah Hits Border Village as Israel Warns of War

Latest Developments

Hezbollah wounded at least 11 people in an armed drone attack on the Druze Arab village of Hurfeish in northern Israel on June 5, stoking calls in Jerusalem for escalated retaliation in Lebanon. One of the casualties was reported to be in critical condition after the exploding drones crashed into a soccer field where military personnel were gathered. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said the launches had not set off warning sirens and that the malfunction is being investigated.

Hezbollah took credit for the attack in a statement on Telegram, saying that it launched a squadron of drones toward the area in retaliation for an Israeli strike on June 4 that killed a Hezbollah operative in the southern Lebanese town of Naqoura.

The strike follows a recent escalation of hostilities by the Iran-backed terrorist group that operates from Lebanon’s southern border with Israel and after barrages of rockets and drones between June 2-3 caused dozens of wildfires in northern Israel.

Expert Analysis

“The Israelis have held off Hezbollah for almost eight months, preventing the Islamic Republic in Iran from igniting a second front in parallel to the Gaza war. But the threat from Lebanon has become intolerable, not least as it appears now to be spearheaded by fairly low-tech weapons like exploding drones and short-range ‘Burkan’ rockets that bedevil Israel’s advanced air defenses.” Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Today’s attack is a continuation of Hezbollah’s noticeable escalation that began in early May. The group’s choice of weapons, loitering munitions, demonstrates that it is seeking to cause Israeli casualties — and just how emboldened Hezbollah has become.” — David Daoud, FDD Senior Fellow

Officials Warn of Full-Scale War

Speaking in the northern city of Kiryat Shmona — after touring areas where firefighters, with the IDF’s help, had just contained the blazes — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel was prepared for “very intense action in the north.”

“Whoever thinks that they can hurt us and that we will sit idly by is making a big mistake,” Netanyahu said. “One way or another, we will restore security to the north.”

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi echoed the prime minister, saying the IDF “is prepared after a very good process of training — up to the level of a military exercise — to move to an attack in the north,” adding that the military is “approaching a decision point.”

Israeli President Isaac Herzog made a last-gasp appeal for foreign intervention to bring Lebanon back from the brink of a major war.

“The world needs to wake up and realize that Israel has no choice but to protect its citizens, and it should come as no surprise when it does so — strongly and ever more resolutely,” he said.

Hezbollah Leader Threatens ‘Devastation’ Against Israel

Hezbollah has attacked Israel’s northern communities since the day after Hamas’s massacre in southern Israel on October 7. The Iran-backed terrorist group has continued to launch drones, rockets, missiles, and mortars into Israel from Lebanon’s southern border. The attacks forced the evacuation of tens of thousands of Israel’s northern residents, many of whom are afraid to return to their communities until the Hezbollah threat is neutralized. Hezbollah’s deputy chief, Naim Qassem, threatened Israel during an Al-Jazeera interview on June 4, saying that Hezbollah is ready to battle Israel if the war expands. “Any Israeli expansion of the war on Lebanon will be met with devastation, destruction and displacement in Israel,” Qassem said.

Hezbollah Rocket Attacks Spark Massive Fires in Northern Israel,” FDD Flash Brief

Acre in Firing Line as Hezbollah Targets Northern Israeli Towns,” FDD Flash Brief

Hezbollah Rockets Target Northern Israeli City of Kiryat Shmona,” FDD Flash Brief

Barrage of Hezbollah Rockets and Drones Targets Northern Israel,” FDD Flash Brief

Issues:

Hezbollah Iran Iran Global Threat Network Israel Israel at War Lebanon