Israel evacuates Lebanon border city as fears skyrocket over Hezbollah

Israel has ordered the evacuation of Kiryat Shmona, near the northern border with Lebanon, amid cross-border exchanges with terror group Hezbollah.

Kiryat Shmona is home to some 22,000 people. Tel Aviv has said that residents will be moved to state-subsidised guest houses.

The announcement comes as fears of a wider regional conflict in the Middle East skyrocket as militias and political groups linked to Iran gear up for conflict.

Tehran has already warned Israel that a ground invasion of Gaza – which appears imminent – would lead to a wider war. Iran has even warned of preemptive action.

Hezbollah, which has significant political clout in Lebanon, is much better funded and more well-equipped than Hamas. It is seen as Iran’s direct proxy and any attack by the group would likely only come with direct permission from Tehran.

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In addition, other Iranian-linked groups could be gearing up for conflict. A US Navy Destroyer shot down three missiles last night fired by Houthi forces in Yemen. Although it’s unclear where these missiles were headed, the Houthis are equipped and funded by Iran.

In addition, the Syrian al-Assad regime as well as Shiite militias in Iraq are all openly hostile towards Israel and allied or funded by Iran.

In an apparent effort to dissuade other actors from joining in the Israel-Hamas war, the US parked two carrier strike groups in the eastern Mediterranean.

It’s unclear at what point the US would get involved in the war but several top US officials including President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Llyod Austin have issued a one-word warning: “Don’t.”

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IDF releases video showing airstrikes on Hezbollah in the border area with Lebanon

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The news comes as Israel looks set for a ground operation in Gaza. Tel Aviv has massed tanks, artillery and hundreds of thousands of troops at the border.

In response to a Hamas terrorist attack on October 7 which killed more than 1,300 people, Israel has launched thousands of airstrikes on Gaza.

Hamas-run Palestinian health authorities said before a strike on al-Alhi Hospital at least 2,778 people had been killed in Gaza. Israel has blamed a misfired Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket for the attack citing video and audio evidence. Hamas has blamed Israel for the strike.

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