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Middle East crisis

Netanyahu says Israel prepared for strong action in the north

Netanyahu says Israel prepared for strong action in the north
Israeli first response unit members next to a fire that broke out following strikes by Hezbollah from Lebanon near Kiryat Shmona, northern Israel, 04 June 2024. An Israeli army spokesperson reported on 04 June that six IDF reservists were lightly injured and transferred to a hospital to receive medical treatment following smoke inhalation. EPA-EFE/ATEF SAFADI

JERUSALEM, June 5 (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu toured the country's northern border with Lebanon on Wednesday and said Israel was prepared for strong action in the north.

Israeli towns near the border, many of which have been evacuated, have been a frequent target of rocket and drone launches from Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. The rockets set off massive wild fires this week, burning swathes of land across northern Israel.

“Whoever thinks that they can harm us and we will sit idly by is making a big mistake. We are prepared for a very strong action in the north. In one way or another we will restore security to the north,” Netanyahu said.

Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel have been exchanging fire for the past eight months in parallel with the Gaza war, raising concerns that an even wider conflict could break out between the heavily armed adversaries.

The hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah have been their worst since they waged war in 2006, and tens of thousands of people on both sides of the border have been forced to flee their homes.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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