A youth sits by a damaged vehicle outside a destroyed building in the aftermath of an overnight Israeli airstrike on the city of Baalbek in east central Lebanon on March 12, 2024. Image Credit: AFP

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah said on Tuesday it launched over 100 rockets at Israeli military positions in retaliation for a strike on the country’s east that killed one person the day before.

Hamas ally Hezbollah and its arch-foe Israel have exchanged near-daily fire since the Israel-Hamas war erupted in Gaza in October.

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Strikes have largely been confined to border regions, but several Israeli strikes have hit Hezbollah positions further north in recent weeks, raising fears of a full-blown conflict.

Hezbollah launched “more than a hundred katyusha rockets” Tuesday morning at two military bases, the group said in a statement.

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This was “in response to the Israeli attacks on our people, villages and cities, most recently near the city of Baalbek and the killing of a citizen”, it added.

On Monday, Israeli air strikes near Lebanon’s eastern city of Baalbek killed one person, in the second raid on the Hezbollah stronghold since cross-border hostilities began.

On February 26, Israeli strikes targeted Baalbek, some 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the border, killing two Hezbollah members.

Hezbollah has repeatedly said it will only stop its attacks on Israel with a ceasefire in Gaza.

But Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant recently said any truce in Gaza would not change Israel’s goal of pushing Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon, by force or diplomacy.

Since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October, at least 317 people, mainly Hezbollah fighters but also 54 civilians, have been killed in Lebanon, according to an AFP tally.

In Israel, at least 10 soldiers and seven civilians have been killed in the cross-border hostilities.