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Israeli army declares town near border with Lebanon as 'closed military zone'

Israeli army declares town near border with Lebanon as 'closed military zone'

 
- In recent days, Israeli army exchanges fire with Hezbollah group in several incidents, causing deaths on both sides
 

By Abdelraouf Arna'out

JERUSALEM (AA) – The Israeli army on Friday declared the Metula town near the border with Lebanon as a "closed military zone" amid rise of tensions along the Israel-Lebanon border.

The Israeli Army Radio clarified the measure as saying that it is applied to sections of the town near the Lebanon border fence.

It added that the step was taken as a "precautionary measure" based on the security assessment of the situation.

During the seven days of fighting between Palestinian groups and Israel, the Israeli army exchanged fire with the Hezbollah group in several incidents, resulting in deaths on both sides.

In a dramatic escalation of Middle East tensions, Israeli forces launched a sustained and forceful military campaign against the Gaza Strip, a response to a military offensive by the Palestinian resistance group Hamas in Israeli territories.

The conflict began last Saturday when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel, a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea and air.

Hamas said the operation was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers' growing violence against Palestinians.

The Israeli military in response launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip.

Israel's response has extended into cutting water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening the living conditions in an area that has reeled under a crippling siege since 2007.

The number of Palestinians killed from Israeli attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip has risen to 1,537, the Health Ministry in Gaza announced Thursday. Among the dead were 500 children and 276 women. More than 6,600 people were injured.

Meanwhile, the Israeli death toll from the Hamas operation has risen to 1,300, with 3,300 injured, according to the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation (KAN).

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