Hezbollah and Israeli troops exchange fire along the border

BEIRUT — Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group attacked several Israeli army posts along the two countries’ border and Israel shelled a village in southern Lebanon on Friday, killing two civilians, officials said.

It was the first time Hezbollah launched attacks on Israeli troops along the Lebanon-Israel border since the start of a seven-day truce between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, an ally of Hezbollah. That cease-fire collapsed on Friday, plunging the Israel-Hamas conflict back into open combat.

Israel’s military said it hit the sources of the fire directed at the military.

Lebanese security officials, meanwhile, said a woman and her son died when Israeli shells hit their home in the southern village of Houla. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.

Lebanon’s state news agency identified the woman and her son as Nasifa Mazraani and Mohammed. Their deaths raise to at least 16 the number of civilians killed by Israeli strikes in Lebanon over the past eight weeks.

The Iran-backed Hezbollah meanwhile, said it carried out four attacks on Israeli border posts. The Shiite militant group has been attacking Israeli posts since a day after the unprecedented Oct. 7 Hamas incursion into southern Israel that killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and set off the latest Israeli-Hamas war.

Since the war began, more than 13,300 Palestinians have died, roughly two-thirds of them women and minors, according to the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza, which does not differentiate between civilians and combatants.

In attacks over the past weeks, Hezbollah has used suicide drones and rockets with heavy warheads known as Burkan, to target Israeli posts along the tense frontier.

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The Israeli military said it struck Friday “a terrorist cell” that was operating in southern Lebanon near the Zarit area. The army said it identified projectiles from Lebanon fired toward Israeli posts in the area of Rosh HaNikra and Margaliot, as well as toward the northern city of Kiryat Shmona.

The Israeli Aerial Defense Array — which includes the Iron Dome anti-rocket system as well as David’s Sling, which intercepts medium-range missiles such as those of Lebanon’s Hezbollah — successfully intercepted two launches in the area of Kiryat Shmona, the army said.

Earlier Friday, sirens went off in northern Israel and the military said the Aerial Defense Array successfully intercepted a suspicious aerial target that crossed from Lebanon into Israeli territory.

Israel and Hezbollah are bitter enemies that fought a monthlong war in the summer of 2006. Israel considers the Iran-backed Shiite militant group its most serious immediate threat, estimating that Hezbollah has around 150,000 rockets and missiles aimed at Israel.

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Associated Press writer Julia Frankel in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

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