Hezbollah says Israel 'will pay' after Lebanon strikes kill civilians

Terrorist group vows vengeance after Israeli strike on Hezbollah commander exacts heavy civilian toll; Lebanon plans to lodge complaint with UN Security Council against Israel
Lior Ben Ari, Yair Kraus, Elisha Ben Kimon, Shimon Elbaz|
Civilian defense teams in Lebanon continued their efforts Thursday morning to clear the debris from a building that was attacked by Israel the night before in the town of Nabatieh in southern Lebanon, Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar reported.
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The attack, first reported by Lebanese media, was later confirmed to be an Israeli attack on the town, located approximately 8 miles from Israel's northernmost settlement of Metula. The attack was significant, resulting in several casualties on scene. Lebanese media reported Thursday morning that a Hezbollah commander was killed in the attack.
Watch: Rocket strikes Ziv Medical Center
(Video: Ziv Medical Center)

The attacks, which began on Wednesday, have persisted into Thursday morning, with the IDF announcing at noon that it had targeted numerous Hezbollah targets in Lebanese territory. Fighter jets have struck rocket launch sites, military compounds and terrorist infrastructure in the Wadi Saluki area, as well as additional terrorist infrastructure in the Labbouneh area. Overnight, a Hezbollah military compound in the A-Taybeh area was also targeted.
In response, Hezbollah has threatened retaliation, leading to continued exchanges of fire. Three anti-tank missiles were fired toward an open area, and a rocket was launched toward Mount Dov, although no injuries were reported. At 1:24pm, an alert was issued throughout northern Israel's Upper Galilee region regarding the infiltration of a hostile aircraft.
Reports indicate that Thursday night's attacks in Lebanon have resulted in 11 casualties so far. The attack on Nabatieh was carried out by an Israeli drone and targeted an apartment in a three-story residential building.
In response, schools and other local institutions in Nabatieh and the surrounding area closed their doors on Thursday citing "the aggressive Israeli escalation and attacks in the region." A security source informed Al-Hadath channel that the targeted residence belonged to a civilian family said to have no connection to Hezbollah.
Lebanese media reported Thursday morning that at least seven members of a single family were killed in the Nabatieh attack. Shortly after midnight, rescue teams extracted a child, Hussein Ali Amer, from the rubble after hours of searching for survivors - a video of the rescue is circulating on social media. Reports also indicate that nearby buildings, vehicles and power and telephone lines were impacted.
Local media outlets have started using the term "Nabatieh Massacre" to describe the incident. A reporter from Al Arabi channel characterized it as a "real massacre," highlighting that rescue operations were hindered due to the imminent collapse of the building, which rescue teams worked to stabilize. The reporter also emphasized that the Nabatieh area has received a significant number of refugees from border towns, underscoring the unprecedented nature of this attack deeper inside Lebanon.
"The enemy will pay the price for these crimes," Hezbollah politician Hassan Fadlallah told Reuters on Thursday. "The resistance will continue to practice its legitimate right to defend its people."
Ali al-Hatib, the deputy head of Lebanon's Supreme Islamic Shia Council, condemned the attack, referring to it as a "Zionist massacre" that targeted a family in Nabatieh and resulted in the loss of innocent lives, including children and women.
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בניין הרוס ב א-נבטיה
בניין הרוס ב א-נבטיה
A destroyed building in southern Lebanon
(Photo: REUTERS/Aziz Taher)
He called on the Lebanese government to urgently file a complaint with the UN and its Security Council to "condemn Israel and hold it accountable for its crimes and ongoing aggression against Lebanon."
Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati announced, "I have instructed the foreign minister to submit a new urgent complaint against Israel to the Security Council."
On Wednesday, Hashim Safieddine, the leader of Hezbollah's executive council, responded to the initial IDF attacks, stating there would be a retaliation for the assaults in the country's south.
He emphasized that "any response would be proportional and necessary, particularly in the face of civilian and child casualties. Those who believed they could achieve unfulfilled objectives from 2006 were mistaken."
The cross-border tensions simmered to a boiling point on Wednesday after a barrage of rockets from Lebanon targeted the IDF Northern Command base in the northern city of Safed, killing Staff Sgt. Omer Benjo.
Shortly after, the IDF announced a series of extensive airstrikes on Lebanese territory, concluding in the evening. Al-Manar newspaper in southern Lebanon reported four fatalities as a result of these attacks.
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