In Hezbollah’s Sights, a Stretch of Northern Israel Becomes a No-Go Zone

More than 60,000 Israelis who live far from Gaza but close to the front line of another spiraling conflict have in recent months been ordered from their homes along Israel’s northern border with Lebanon — the first mass evacuation of the area in Israeli history.

In one Israeli border town, antitank missiles fired from Lebanon have damaged scores of homes. In another village, holdouts who refuse to evacuate said they avoided turning lights on at night to keep from becoming visible targets. And in a sign of the proximity of the fighters across the border and how personal the simmering hostilities have become, a farmer said he had received a text message claiming to be from Hezbollah and threatening him with death.

The evacuations and an effort in Lebanon to move thousands of civilians away from the border are the result of an intensifying conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia and political organization.

The skirmish along Israel’s northern border is being fought in parallel with the more intense war in Gaza, which Israel launched after Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack. Now also in its sixth month, the battle with Hezbollah has implications both for the prospects of a wider regional conflict and for the thousands of civilians who live along the frontier.

Israel has responded forcefully to Hezbollah’s attacks: Above the hills and valleys of Israel’s border with Lebanon, Israeli warplanes rumble overhead. In the recent fighting, at least eight civilians in Israel and 51 in Lebanon have been killed, according to the Israeli and Lebanese authorities, as have combatants on both sides.

Israeli soldiers, along with a dummy of a soldier, at the checkpoint outside Kibbutz She’ar Yashuv.

Related Articles

Back to top button