Fires Rage In Northern Israel After Uptick In Hezbollah Attacks

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Tuesday, Jun 04, 2024 - 12:20 PM

Huge fires in Israel's Galilee region are once again raging out of control following stepped-up rocket and drone attacks by Hezbollah on northern Israel. Some reports are citing over 20 wildfires in various locations.

Israeli media has confirmed that "a large blaze is spreading in the Ramim Ridge area, near Kiryat Shmona, reportedly as a result of rocket impacts in the area over the past day." Homes in Kiryat Shmona have been destroyed and the fires are surrounding more communities.

The northern town of Kiryat Shmona on June 3, Flash90/TOI

Fire and rescue teams have been working around the clock to extinguish the blazes. "Meanwhile, the service says firefighting efforts also continue in the Golan Heights, following a major fire sparked yesterday as a result of a Hezbollah rocket barrage at the Katzrin area," Times of Israel reports.

Since Oct.7 there's been daily tit-for-tat fighting along the Israel-Lebanon border, but the past week has witnessed a noticeable uptick in the intensity of the fighting, also as Israel has expanded its Rafah offensive in southern Gaza.

On Monday Hezbollah announced a new first--it launched a squadron of drones against the Israeli military's Galilee headquarters. Additionally dozens of Katyusha rockets rained down on the occupied Golan Heights.

"Air raid sirens sounded numerous times across northern Israel, sending residents running for shelter," Reuters reports. "The Israeli military said it had intercepted one drone from Lebanon carrying explosives, and at least two others fell in northern Israel."

Reuters additionally confirmed, "Continuous rocket and drone launches since Sunday have set off massive wild fires in Israel's north."

The Galilee region has seen major road closures as a result of the new fires, some of which are encroaching on towns and large settlements:

Fires are also reported in the Mount Adir and Amiad areas, leading to closures of major roads in the Galilee area. Backup teams are being dispatched from other regions to provide assistance.

Police say forces are “evacuating homes, directing traffic, and conducting scans of various areas while firefighters aided by others are helping douse flames.”

Last Friday, Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah in a video link speech declared that the current battle will determine the fate of the whole region.

"This battle concerns Palestine, but also concerns the future of Lebanon and its water and oil resources," Nasrallah, who is backed by Iran and Syria, said. "This front is a support front that is part of the battle that will determine the fate of Palestine, Lebanon, and the region strategically."

Emergency crews battling fires at night in the Galilee region:

AFP has said that since the conflict started, at least 450 people in Lebanon have been killed, with the majority of these being Hezbollah militants. But this has also included over 80 civilians and ten rescue workers.

On the Israeli side, Hezbollah attacks have resulted in 14 Israeli soldiers and 11 civilians dead. However, regional sources believe the actual troop death toll could be significantly higher.

Lebanese media has also reported fires in southern Lebanon as a result of Israeli strikes, reportedly from the deployment of white phosphorus munitions.

Some 80,000 residents of northern Israel have remained forcibly evacuated since hostilities began. There's been immense political pressure on the Netanyahu government to find a solution, short of mounting full-blown war on the northern front and an invasion of Lebanon.