IDF to evacuate Kiryat Shmona amid attacks from Lebanon

Terrorists in Lebanon fired a heavy barrage of rockets at northern Israel on Thursday afternoon, injuring three Israelis.

By JNS

The Israel Defense Forces was set on Friday to begin evacuating the northern city of Kiryat Shmona amid intensifying rocket and anti-tank missile attacks emanating from Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon.

The decision to move residents of the city to state-subsidized guesthouses was approved by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.

Kiryat Shmona has a population of 22,500, although many residents have already fled from their homes due to the war.

The IDF said that overnight on Thursday, it struck several Hezbollah terror assets in Southern Lebanon in response to intensifying attacks.

The military also conducted a drone strike to eliminate a terrorist in the area.

Terrorists in Lebanon fired a heavy barrage of rockets at northern Israel on Thursday afternoon, injuring three Israelis, amid fears Iran-backed Hezbollah will enter the conflict.

The IDF confirmed that some 20 rockets were fired from Lebanon at the Galilee. Two Israelis, a father and daughter, were hurt when a rocket hit a residential building in Kiryat Shmona. The father sustained moderate wounds while the daughter was lightly injured.

“Following the alerts that were activated a short time ago in the north of the country, IDF forces continue to attack the sources of the fire with artillery fire,” said the military.

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The Lebanese branch of Hamas’s Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks.

Earlier on Thursday afternoon, terrorists fired six rockets at the Western Galilee, setting off air-raid sirens in communities near the border, according to the IDF. The army said it intercepted one projectile while five more struck open areas.

In addition, terrorists launched anti-tank missiles at Dvoranit and shots towards a military post in the area of Moshav Zar’it, the military said. No casualties were reported in the incidents.

“IDF forces are now attacking the source of the shooting,” the army said.

Late Thursday morning, Lebanese terrorists fired two anti-tank guided missiles at Kibbutz Manara, near Kiryat Shmona in the Upper Galilee. In response, the Israeli military shelled the source of the attack.

Meanwhile, the U.S. and British embassies in Beirut advised their citizens to leave Lebanon immediately.

Five Israelis—four soldiers and a civilian—have been killed on the northern front since the Hamas terror rampage in the south that left more than 1,400 people dead and 4,500 wounded, and at least 203 held hostage in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday encouraged soldiers from the IDF Golani Brigade 51st Battalion at an assembly point near Gaza, ahead of the expected ground battle with Hamas.

“I am here with Golani soldiers from all parts of the country. They have fought like lions and will fight like lions,” Netanyahu said. “We are going to win with full force.”

Gallant echoed the statements on Thursday, emphasizing that Israel would fight until it is victorious.

“I see the determination, the spirit of battle, and above all, the motivation to carry out everything needed to defeat Hamas, to eliminate terrorist infrastructure, and to execute the mission as needed,” the defense minister told soldiers during a visit to an IDF staging area along the Gaza border.

“We will be exact, sharp, deadly, and we will continue until we completely execute the mission. You now see Gaza from afar, soon you will see it from the inside. The order will come,” he said.