Israel strikes Lebanon after Hezbollah fires mortars , Residents urged to evacuate

Residents close to the Israel-Lebanon border urged to evacuate for coming 24 to 48 hours to keep families safe; Kiryat Shmona mayor says citizens in the north are accustomed to tense security situation and have faith in the IDF
Yoav Zitun, Hadar Adi|
Israel fired barrages of artillery into southern Lebanon on Sunday after Hezbollah targeted three Israeli military positions in the disputed Shebaa Farms. The IDF said Israel was prepared for any eventuality on all fronts.
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There were no immediate reports of casualties. The cross-border fire comes a day after a surprise attack by Palestinian gunmen on Israeli towns left at least 300 Israelis dead, nearly 2,000 wounded and dozens of soldiers and civilians abducted and held in Gaza.
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כוחות צה"ל בגבול לבנון
כוחות צה"ל בגבול לבנון
IDF forces amass on the border with Lebanon
(Photo: Jalaa Marey / AFP)
Residents of communities close to the border with Lebanon were urged to evacuate further to the south. "We recommend that families who have relatives or friends that can host them, leave the area for the next 24 to 48 hours," a message to residents from regional councils, red.
Avichai Stern, mayor of Kiryat Shmona, Israel's largest city near the border, told Ynet that the city was continuing routinely but that residents were urged to remain close to shelters. "There is no specific warning at the moment," he said. "We are accustomed to tense security situations and trust the IDF."
The Iran-backed Hezbollah said it had launched guided rockets and artillery onto three posts in the Shebaa Farms "in solidarity" with the Palestinian people.
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תמונה מאיזור לבנון
תמונה מאיזור לבנון
Shelling across the border with Lebanon on Sunday
The United Nations peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon said they were in contact with both sides, to contain the situation and avoid escalation.
"Our peacekeepers remain in their positions and on task. They continue to work, some from shelters for their safety," UNIFIL said in a statement. "We urge everyone to exercise restraint and make use of UNIFIL’s liaison and coordination mechanisms to de-escalate to prevent a fast deterioration of the security situation."
Hezbollah, which effectively controls southern Lebanon, said Saturday it was in "direct contact" with leaders of Palestinian "resistance" groups and that it saw Palestinian attacks on Israel as a "decisive response to Israel's continued occupation and a message to those seeking normalization with Israel".
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