An Israeli soldier stands by, as a mobile artillery unit fires, near the Israel-Lebanon border, in northern Israel. Image Credit: REUTERS

BEIRUT: Israel launched its most intense attacks on a single location in Lebanon’s south Tuesday, targeting a border valley with air strikes and artillery, a local official and a security source told AFP.

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Israel’s army said it had conducted “aerial and artillery strikes” on Hezbollah targets “within a short amount of time” on Tuesday in the Sluki valley area.

“Israeli forces have launched more than 14 air strikes on the Sluki valley,” a security source with knowledge of operations on the ground in south Lebanon told AFP.

They said the strikes were “the most intense” on one single area since Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel began exchanging near-daily cross-border fire in the wake of the Israel-Hamas war that began on October 7.

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Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency also reported Israeli air strikes on Tuesday on other south Lebanon villages along the border.

The air strikes on the Sluki valley were accompanied by heavy artillery shelling, said Shakib Koteish, mayor of the nearby Hula village, adding that they did not cause any casualties so far.

In its statement, Israel’s army said it hit “dozens of Hezbollah posts, military structures, and weapons infrastructure”.

It accused Hezbollah of concealing “numerous assets and infrastructure... in the forested area, for the purpose of attacking Israeli civilians and soldiers”.

Hezbollah also claimed several attacks on Israeli positions and troops on Tuesday.

During more than two decades of Israel’s occupation of southern Lebanon that ended in 2000, the Sluki valley and neighbouring areas were known as Hezbollah’s main areas of operations against Israel.

Over 190 people have been killed in Lebanon during more than three months of violence, including over 140 Hezbollah fighters and over 20 civilians, among them three journalists, according to an AFP tally.

In northern Israel, nine soldiers and six civilians have been killed, according to Israeli authorities.