SAFRI, Lebanon (AP) — Two Israeli airstrikes on Tuesday in northeastern Lebanon destroyed a warehouse and killed at least one person and wounded eight, marking a continued escalation between Israel and Hezbollah over the war Israel is waging against Hamas militants in Gaza.

The Israeli military said the airstrikes hit two Hezbollah sites and were in response to rocket attacks over northern Israel earlier in the day. The exchanges also followed Israeli strikes near the Lebanese city of Baalbek late on Monday night.

An official from the Lebanese militant Hezbollah group told The Associated Press that at least one person was killed in the Israeli airstrikes in the town of Safri but did not identify the person as a civilian or a Hezbollah member. A Lebanese security official said at least eight people were wounded.

Both the security official and the Hezbollah figure spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations. The warehouse was believed to have been used to store food.

Last month, at least two Hezbollah members were killed in airstrikes near Baalbek and another warehouse was destroyed. It had also stocked food that’s is part of Hezbollah’s Sajjad Project selling to people in its stronghold at prices lower than on the market.

Earlier Tuesday, Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah met with a top Hamas official, Khalil Hayeh, who was involved in negotiations for a cease-fire in Gaza. Last week, Qatar and Egyptian-mediated efforts to broker a truce in Gaza before the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan broke down.

Since the Gaza war erupted after Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and taking around 250 hostage, there have been near-daily exchanges along the Lebanon-Israel border and international mediators have scrambled to prevent an all-out war in tiny Lebanon.

In Israel’s subsequent offensive into Gaza, over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed and most of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been forced from their homes, according to the Health Ministry in the Hamas-run coastal enclave. The ministry doesn’t differentiate between civilians and combatants in its count.

In the strikes near Baalbek late Monday, one person was killed and six were wounded.

The Israeli military’s Arabic spokesperson Avichay Adraee said Israeli jets bombed two Hezbollah compounds in northeastern Lebanon in retaliation for Hezbollah launching attacks on the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

On Tuesday, the Israeli military said said the strikes near Baalbek targeted Hezbollah’s drone locations. The Iran-backed militant group had claimed on Monday attacking Israeli military units in northern Israel with explosive drones.

President Joe Biden’s senior advisor Amos Hochstein had urged for a lasting cease-fire along the tense border when he visited Lebanon and Israel earlier this month.

Hezbollah has said that a cease-fire in Gaza would be the only way to restore calm along the Lebanon-Israel border, though Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said last month that anyone who thinks a temporary cease-fire for Gaza will also apply to the northern front was “mistaken.”

Since the war in Gaza started, more than 220 Hezbollah fighters and nearly 40 Lebanese civilians have been killed on Lebanon’s side while in Israel, nine soldiers and 10 civilians have been killed.


Chehayeb reported from Beirut. Associated Press writers Abby Sewell in Beirut and Tia Goldenberg in Jerusalem contributed to this report.

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