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Brush fires sparked by rockets from Lebanon blaze in north Israel

Brush fires sparked by rockets from Lebanon blaze in north Israel
Source: Video Screenshot

Israeli authorities were on alert for new brush fires on Tuesday, after munitions fired from Lebanon by Hezbollah the previous evening ignited several blazes across northern Israel.

The Israel Fire and Rescue Service said dozens of firefighting teams worked through the night with teams from the Nature and Park Service, army, police and other agencies before the largest fires were brought under control in the morning, an AFP journalist reported.

“As of this time there are three active sites” near the border with Lebanon, the fire service posted on X earlier Tuesday. An AFP journalist said firefighters were still working to extinguish smaller fires.

The flames encroached on Kiryat Shmona, a town near the Lebanese border that has been largely evacuated in the face of near-daily exchanges of fire between the army and Lebanon’s Hezbollah group since Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel triggered war in the Gaza Strip.

Extreme heat that has gripped the region in recent days had already raised the risk of brush fires, made worse by daily barrages of rockets and drone strikes that have rained down incendiary material.

An AFP photographer in the northern town saw fierce fires engulfing parts of the border area.

On Sunday, a brush fire in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights burned around 10 square kilometres (nearly four square miles) of land after a rocket fired from Lebanon struck near the town of Katzrin.

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency (NNA) also reported fires in Alma al-Shaab and Dhayra, two villages near the border with Israel. It said the fires were caused by “Israeli phosphorus incendiary shells”.

The Israeli army said it had deployed reinforcements to support firefighters overwhelmed by the scale of the blazes.

“Six… reservist soldiers were lightly injured as a result of smoke inhalation and transferred to a hospital to receive medical treatment,” the army said.

“The forces gained control over the locations of fire, and at this stage, no human life is at risk,” it added.

Officers of the army’s Northern Command had arrived in Kiryat Shmona during the night and the army was “conducting a situational assessment” in the sector.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said it was closely monitoring the fires.

Government spokesman David Mencer said that attacks by Hezbollah “have caused significant fires”.

In some areas of northern Israel firefighters had been battling “fire for almost 24 hours in extreme weather conditions while striving to reach out and save lives, and prevent damage to property,” Mencer told journalists.

“This is not a sustainable reality.”

In retaliation, Israel’s military announced it had carried out air strikes against what it said were Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon.

Lebanon’s NNA reported that Israeli incendiary shells had sparked a forest fire that was approaching houses in the southern village of Alma al-Shaab on Tuesday.

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AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.







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