A Lebanese soldier was killed by Israeli fire on a military post near the country’s southern border Tuesday, the army said, the first such death since cross-border hostilities began in October.
The Lebanon-Israel border has seen intensifying exchanges of fire since the war broke out between Hamas and Israel, mainly involving the Iran-backed Hezbollah, raising fears of a broader conflagration.
“An army military position in the… Adaysseh area was bombarded by the Israeli enemy, leaving one soldier martyred and three others injured,” the Lebanese army said in a statement.
Later Tuesday Israeli shelling killed a Syrian labourer when it hit the chicken farm where he worked, according to Lebanon’s National News Agency (NNA). A local official also confirming the death.
The NNA reported that the Israeli military shelled and carried out air strikes on southern Lebanon, with Hezbollah also claiming several attacks on Israeli positions.
More than 110 people have been killed on the Lebanese side, mostly Hezbollah fighters and more than a dozen civilians, according to an AFP tally since fighting began in October.
On October 9, Israeli shelling slightly wounded a Lebanese officer.
On the Israeli side, six soldiers and three civilians have been killed, Israeli authorities have said.
The United Nations peacekeeping mission says its headquarters in south Lebanon has been hit by shelling several times.
Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Shiite Muslim group, has not had a visible military presence on Lebanon’s southern border since the end of a 2006 conflict with Israel, but says it resumed activities in support of Hamas after its October 7 attack on Israel.
Lebanese peacekeepers have a presence on the border as part of the UN Security Council Resolution which ended the 2006 war.
Earlier Tuesday, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said in a statement that UN-sponsored talks were planned in the coming months to bring “greater stability” to the restive southern border.
The talks will aim at “reaching an agreement, via the UN, about contested points along the border with the Israeli enemy”, Mikati said.
“We hope that in the next three months we will reach a stage of total stability on our borders,” he added.
The cross-border exchanges of fire began after Hamas’s assault on southern Israel on October 7, which killed some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and saw about 240 taken hostage, according to Israeli officials.
In response, Israel vowed to eliminate the militant group and unleashed an air and ground campaign that authorities in Hamas-run Gaza say has killed more than 16,240 people, also mostly civilians