As cross-border clashes intensified between Israel and the armed group Hezbollah, three people, including two television journalists, were killed in an Israeli strike on Tuesday in southern Lebanon, Lebanese officials said.
The Lebanese military and Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister blamed Israel for the attack. The Israeli armed forces did not immediately comment on the episode.
Al-Mayadeen, a pan-Arab network based in Beirut, said in a statement that reporter Farah Omar and cameraman Rabih Al-Maamari were killed in the attack. Another civilian was also killed in the strike, which took place about four miles from the Israeli border near the Lebanese town of Tayr Harfa, according to Lebanon’s state-run news agency.
The journalists were killed shortly after a live broadcast, Al-Mayadeen said. A video filmed at the same location after the strike showed emergency workers clearing debris and body parts from the ground. The video was filmed by Mohammed Zinati, a reporter with local media organization Sawt Beirut.
Lebanon’s caretaker prime minister, Najib Mikati, blamed Israel for the killings, saying in a statement: “This attack proves once again that there are no limits to Israel’s crimes.”
Earlier Tuesday, before the strike near Tayr Harfa, the Israeli military said that it had “struck three armed terrorist cells” operating along the Lebanese border, and that fighter jets had also struck Hezbollah targets.
Hezbollah, the powerful Lebanese militia, vowed to retaliate. “This aggression and the martyrdom of other citizens will not pass without a response,” it said in a statement.
Casualties are mounting on both sides of the border, which has grown increasingly volatile since Hamas — which, like Hezbollah, is backed by Iran — carried out its devastating terror attacks against Israel on Oct. 7. Israel has responded with airstrikes and a ground invasion of Gaza, and Hezbollah has stepped up its cross-border attacks in solidarity with Hamas, raising fears of a wider regional conflict.
On Monday, Hezbollah claimed responsibility for a powerful cross-border rocket attack on an Israeli military base, prompting a sustained Israeli response that targeted Hezbollah positions, but also caused heavy damage to civilian homes, according to photographs verified by The New York Times.
Also Tuesday, an Israeli strike killed a woman in the southern village of Kfar Kila, and four other people traveling in a car near the southern city of Tyre, according to Lebanon’s state-run news agency.
The chairman of Al-Mayadeen, Ghassan Bin Jedo, noted during an interview aired by the network that the Israeli government last week banned its broadcasts after some officials accused it of being a Hezbollah mouthpiece.
The journalists for Al-Mayadeen are the latest to be killed in the escalating violence in Lebanon. Last month, a Reuters videographer, Issam Abdallah, died in a missile strike fired from the direction of Israel.
A total of at least 53 journalists have been killed amid the Israel-Hamas war, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, making it one of the deadliest periods for reporters since the media watchdog first began gathering data in 1992.
Malachy Browne contributed reporting.