March 6, 2024 | FDD's Long War Journal

Hezbollah barrages of rockets target northern Israel

March 6, 2024 | FDD's Long War Journal

Hezbollah barrages of rockets target northern Israel

Hezbollah launched dozens of rockets at Israel on March 5. The attacks came after US envoy Amos Hochstein visited Lebanon and called for a “diplomatic solution” to end the thousands of Hezbollah attacks against Israel since October 7. The Iranian-backed group decided to support the Hamas attack that took place on October 7, and has carried out daily attacks on Israel since October 8. However, Hezbollah has chosen so far to avoid a full-scale war. The attacks forced Israel to evacuate 80,000 people from border communities in October, and 500 buildings have since been damaged by Hezbollah fire. An agricultural worker was killed on March 4 by Hezbollah attacks.

“A diplomatic solution is the only way to end the current hostilities” Hochstein said in Lebanon. He also noted that “a lasting fair security arrangement between Lebanon and Israel” was the goal. “A limited war is not containable,” he claimed. However, Hezbollah’s thousands of attacks are already what can be described as a limited war. Israel responds to the attacks daily with precision air strikes as well as artillery and tank fire. Historically, the conflict in the north involves more rocket fire than many of Israel’s precious wars with Hamas or Hezbollah. In addition, more than 200 Hezbollah members have been killed in Israeli strikes.

Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant met with Hochstein on March 5. “We are committed to the diplomatic process, however Hezbollah’s aggression is bringing us closer to a critical point in the decision-making regarding our military activities in Lebanon,” Gallant said. Gallant believes that the continued Hezbollah attacks are leading to a dangerous escalation. His comments come a day after he met with US Central Command head Michael Kurilla. Gallant and Kurilla spoke about regional security and close cooperation between the IDF and CENTCOM.

On March 5 a large barrage of more than two dozen rockets targeted the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Shmona. The city was evacuated in October. Footage showed a large number of interceptions by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system. Israel has numerous air defense systems that it has used since the beginning of the war, with Iron Dome as the main workhorse for short-range air defense. David’s Sling and Arrow air defense system makes up the medium- and long-range tiers of the multi-layered system.

The Israel Defense Forces said on March 5 that after the launches took place, the IDF retaliated using warplanes. The planes “struck a Hezbollah launch post in Taybeh in Lebanon, from which launches were carried out this evening toward the area of Kiryat Shmona. Furthermore, an IDF aircraft struck a Hezbollah anti-tank missile launch post in the area of Aarab El Louaizeh from which launches were carried out toward the area of Kiryat Shmona.” The IDF also said that earlier in the day “IDF fighter jets struck a Hezbollah military compound in the area of Dibbine and terrorist infrastructure belonging to the terrorist organization in Ayta ash Shab.”

The IDF also said it struck a Hezbollah operational command center and launch posts as well as other sites in four different locations. In another incident in the evening of March 4, Hezbollah targeted the area of Magaliot on the border, the same area the group had targeted earlier when it killed an agricultural worker. “In response to the launches toward the area of Margaliot in northern Israel this morning, a short while ago, fighter jets struck a series of Hezbollah terror targets in the areas of Bint Jbeil, Sultaniyeh, and Seddiqine. Among the targets struck were Hezbollah military structures, and a military command and control center used by the terrorist organization,” the IDF said.

These attacks and retaliation have entered a cycle in which Hezbollah does not appear to be deterred and even appears to be increasing its attacks over the last week. This comes as hostage talks between Israel and Hamas, with Egypt, Qatar and the US also participating, have stalled. Hezbollah has exploited this to increase its attacks, to which Israel’s Defense Minister has said Israel will increase its strikes in response.

Reporting from Israel, Seth J. Frantzman is an adjunct fellow at FDD and a contributor to FDD’s Long War Journal. He is the acting news editor and senior Middle East correspondent and analyst at The Jerusalem Post. 


Hezbollah Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism Israel Israel at War Lebanon Military and Political Power