By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Israeli firefighting teams continued on Tuesday to battle massive fires, sparked by rockets fired from southern Lebanon. 

The fires engulfed several settlements and military sites in Upper Galilee and occupied Golan Heights, forcing evacuation.

The Israeli army reported that its forces were able to control the hotspots of fire, but the situation remained precarious, with fires still burning in the vicinity of several settlements, including Kiryat Shmona, where flames had reached some neighborhoods.

The spread of fires required the intervention of a large number of fire brigades and army and police forces, with many residents evacuated from Kiryat Shmona and other settlements. The Israeli army confirmed that six reserve soldiers were injured due to smoke inhalation.

According to Al-Jazeera, the Sefad Hospital, however, confirmed it received at least 16 people injured in the Kiryat Shmona fires, including seven soldiers. 

The Israeli army said that it was cooperating with the Home Front, the Operations Division, and the Northern Front Command to put out the fires, especially in Kiryat Shmona, where the flames had consumed parts of some homes. 

The fires also approached at least one Israeli military base.

Israeli Nature and Parks Authority reported that the fires have already spread to hundreds of acres, and multiple settlements have been affected. 

The Israeli police closed several roads in the Upper Galilee due to the fires, which according to Israeli estimates had consumed at least 10,000 dunams.

According to the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, the fires were caused by the launching of dozens of missiles and drones from Lebanon. 

Israeli Channel 12 reported that firefighting teams made efforts to prevent the fires from spreading to a military site in the Upper Galilee.

‘Burn Lebanon’

Far-right Israeli minister issued inflammatory statements condemning the “policy of containment and proportionality”.

“What is happening now in the north is moral bankruptcy,” Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir stated.

“Reckless management by the Concept Cabinet, a direct continuation of the policy of containment and proportionality, a policy that directly led to October 7,” he continued, adding:

“Instead of bowing down to Hamas, it is time for all of Lebanon to burn.”

Ben-Gvir’s statements were echoed by Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who said: “Just a few hours ago, I warned that the situation in the north is deteriorating and the security belt must move from Israel to southern Lebanon.”

“The new concept led by the War Cabinet has been going up in flames for hours and is exploding in our faces,” Smotrich added.

“A year ago there was a defense minister who said we would return Lebanon to the Stone Age. Mr. Prime Minister, Mr. Defense Minister, Mr. Chief of Staff—the time has come,” Smotrich concluded.

Heightened Tensions

Since the start of the Israeli war on Gaza, on October 7, the Lebanese movement Hezbollah has engaged directly, but relatively in a limited way in the war against the Israeli occupation.

Israel has occupied parts of Lebanon for decades and has only left the country in 2000, following stiff Lebanese resistance under Hezbollah’s leadership. 

It attempted to re-occupy Lebanon in 2006 but failed in what Lebanon considers a major victory against Israel. 

Israel, however, continues to occupy parts of Lebanon, namely the Sheeba Farms region.

Hezbollah has vowed to recover every inch of Lebanon that has been occupied by Israel contrary to international law.


The post Northern Israel Ablaze – Rockets Fired from Lebanon Spark Massive Fires appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

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