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Kerala man killed, two others injured in missile attack from Lebanon on Israel

Hezbollah is believed to have carried out the attack that killed the Indian national Patnibin Maxwell from Kerala in northern Israel. Hezbollah has been launching rockets, missiles, and drones at northern Israel daily since October 8 in support of Hamas amid the war in Gaza.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Jerusalem Published on: March 05, 2024 9:23 IST
Israel, Indian national killed, Lebanon, Hezbollah
Image Source : AP (FILE) Israel and Hezbollah have exchanged fire regularly since the war in Gaza began on October 7.

Jerusalem: An Indian national from Kerala was killed and two others, also from Kerala, were injured on Monday after an anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon hit an orchard near Israel's northern border community of Margaliot, according to officials. The missile hit a moshav (collective agricultural community), in the Galilee region in northern Israel, said Zaki Heller, spokesperson for rescue services Magen David Adom (MDA).

The deceased was identified as Patnibin Maxwell belonging from Kollam in Kerala and his mortal remains were identified in Ziv hospital, official sources said. Bush Joseph George and Paul Melvin were injured and taken to hospitals for treatment, they said.

"George was taken to the Beilinson hospital in Petah Tikva after suffering injuries on face and body. He underwent an operation, is recovering well, and has been kept under observation. He could speak with his family in India," an official source told news agency PTI. Melvin was slightly injured and is hospitalised at Ziv Hospital in the northern Israeli city of Safed.

Strike carried out by Hezbollah

The attack is believed to have been carried out by the Shi'ite Hezbollah faction in Lebanon, which has been launching rockets, missiles, and drones at northern Israel daily since October 8 in support of Hamas amid the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip. MDA said seven foreign workers were injured altogether in the attack, two of them seriously, and were taken to Beilinson, Rambam, and Ziv hospitals in their ambulances and Israeli Air Force helicopters.

Meanwhile, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) on Monday said they responded by shelling the launch site with artillery. The IDF also said it struck a Hezbollah compound where members of the group were gathered in the southern Lebanon town of Chihine, and another site belonging to Hezbollah in Ayta ash-Shab.

Hezbollah attacks on Israel

Hezbollah has been launching attacks on Israel's northern communities and military posts since October 8 saying it is doing so to support Gaza. Hezbollah is one of several Iran-aligned groups around the Middle East that have entered the fray since the Gaza war began, waging campaigns they say aim to support Palestinians under Israeli bombardment in Gaza.

Hezbollah has named 229 members who have been killed by Israel during recent flare ups. Most of the casualties on the Hezbollah side happened in Lebanon but also some in Syria. On the other hand, seven civilians and 10 IDF soldiers on the Israeli side have died due to the cross-border skirmishes. Another 37 operatives from other groups, a Lebanese soldier, and at least 30 civilians have also been killed since October 8.

Last month,  Hezbollah said it will halt fire on Israel if its Iran-backed Palestinian ally Hamas agrees to a proposal for a truce with Israel in Gaza - unless Israeli forces keep shelling Lebanon. Foreign envoys have sought to secure a diplomatic resolution to the fighting, reflecting worry about further escalation.

Hezbollah, which exercises significant sway over the Lebanese state, has insisted it will discuss no arrangements for southern Lebanon until a permanent ceasefire has been agreed for Gaza. If Israel continued shelling Lebanon, Hezbollah would not hesitate to carry on fighting, said sources familiar with the group's plans.

(with inputs from agencies)

ALSO READ | Hezbollah to halt attacks on Israel if Hamas agrees to ceasefire in Gaza: Sources

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