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Renewed Conflict at Lebanon-Israel Border After Anti-Tank Missile Launch

Clashes erupted again Tuesday on the border between Lebanon and Israel, where Israeli forces and armed groups in Lebanon have engaged in a series of low-level skirmishes since the outbreak of the latest war in Gaza.

An anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon landed in the town of Metula in northern Israel Tuesday morning, injuring three people, according to the Ziv Medical Center in Safed.

No group in Lebanon has immediately claimed responsibility. It was not clear if the injured were civilians or soldiers, but Israel has ordered civilians to evacuate the area near the border with Lebanon.

Israel responded by striking several areas along the border in southern Lebanon with artillery fire and white phosphorus, the state-run National News Agency in Lebanon reported. The Israeli military said its tanks fired back into Lebanon after an anti-tank missile was launched across the border.

Earlier Tuesday, the Israeli military said it killed four militants who had attempted to plant explosive devices on a border wall between Israel and Lebanon. A video from an Israeli army reconnaissance drone showed the militants near the separation wall as they were targeted, causing an explosion.

There was no claim of responsibility. Last week, militants from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in southern Lebanon crossed the border and clashed with Israeli troops, killing three and wounding several others. The militants were killed, and the Palestinian group held funerals for two of them.

There are fears that Hezbollah and other Iran-backed groups in the region may escalate the fight with Israel to support Hamas in case of a ground incursion into Gaza. So far, artillery exchanges between Hezbollah and Israel have been limited to several towns along the border.

Israel has threatened that if Hezbollah opens a new front, all of Lebanon will suffer the consequences.

The escalating rhetoric between Hezbollah and Israel has led to a scramble of diplomacy aimed at heading off a larger conflict.

Turkey’s foreign minister, Hakkan Fidan, who arrived in Beirut Tuesday, told reporters after meeting with his Lebanese counterpart that the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas “might lead to greater wars.”

“We are doing all we can so that the war does not spread to other countries,” he said.

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