BEIRUT: Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel have continued their hostilities on the front in southern Lebanon following the end of the truce in the region on Friday.
The Israeli army targeted a Lebanese army center on Al-Awaida hill near the border town of Odaisseh, killing a soldier and wounding three others.
Hezbollah targeted Israeli soldiers at the Ruwaisat Al-Assi site and the Al-Tayhat Triangle, as well as Zabdin in the Shebaa Farms, and Bayyad Blida.
An Israeli drone attacked Lebanese border towns. Artillery was used to target the outskirts of villages and towns, from which most residents had been displaced at the start of military operations.
The Israelis fired flares over the sea coast south of Tyre and over the Blue Line in the western and central sectors. The towns of the Marjayoun district also experienced an Israeli bombardment with heavy artillery shells, flares, and phosphorus bombs causing damage to shops and homes.
Meanwhile, the announcement from Hamas militants in Lebanon of the establishment of “Vanguards of Al-Aqsa Flood” has been met by a negative reaction.
A media report on Tuesday said: “Hamas’ announcement was met with discontent … in southern Lebanon for fear of repeating the 1970s experience of Palestinian armed action from the south.”
Hamas in Lebanon had called on “the brave youth and men (to) join the vanguards of the resistance fighters and participate in the liberation of Jerusalem and the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque, in affirmation of the role of the Palestinian people, wherever they may be, in resisting the occupation by all available and legitimate means, and in continuation of what the Al-Aqsa flood operation has achieved.”
Gebran Bassil, the leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, said on social media: “We absolutely reject Hamas’ announcement.
“We also consider that any armed action launched from Lebanese territory is an assault on national sovereignty. We recall what the Lebanese agreed upon since 1990 in the Taif Agreement — weapons should be taken away from Palestinians inside and outside of the camps — as well as the agreement upon the cancellation of the Cairo Agreement.
“History has taught us not to become a bargaining chip in times of war, when we can impose our conditions on the table in times of negotiations.”
Former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora was “surprised” by the statement of Hamas in Lebanon, and added: “The mere idea of bringing back Palestinian armed action from Lebanon is unacceptable and rejected.”
Hesham Dibsi, a Palestinian researcher and director at the Tatwir Center for Studies, told Arab News: “The step is an … attempt to popularize the Oct. 7 operation (and) say that the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon’s camps are with Hamas, and this is not true.”
Former Justice Minister Maj. Gen. Ashraf Rifi said: “Establishing the ‘Vanguards of Al-Aqsa Flood’ in Lebanon is a grave mistake.
“It harms the Palestinian cause for the benefit of the axis of resistance that trades with it.”
Independent MP Mark Daou said: “Lebanon is a state, not an arena, and Hamas has no right to violate Lebanon.
“We stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people, but we will not accept that the cause be used as an excuse to violate Lebanon and organize non-Lebanese armed forces. Hamas leaders must immediately reconsider this step, or we will consider this a hostile act against the Lebanese and a violation of their security.”
Camille Chamoun, the head of the National Liberal Party, said: “The establishment of the ‘Vanguards of Al-Aqsa Flood’ constitutes a danger and a pretext for a new Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon, the destruction of the remaining institutions and infrastructure, and additional tragedies for the Lebanese people.”
Hamas official Ayman Shanaa said in a statement: “We respect the sovereignty of the Lebanese state, and Hamas operates under the umbrella of Lebanese law. Even in resistance actions from the south, we are under the umbrella of the Lebanese resistance.”