Two Israeli soldiers have been killed in a Hezbollah strike on an army convoy near the Lebanese border, the military said.
Another seven soldiers were wounded in the attack, officials said, and Israel‘s military responded to the anti-tank missile attack with aerial and ground attacks on Hezbollah positions in Lebanon.
A Spanish United Nations peacekeeper was killed in the clashes.
The Lebanese Hezbollah group said it fired the missile and Israel replied with at least 50 artillery shells into Lebanon in a significant escalation along the volatile border.
— Peter Lerner (@LTCPeterLerner) January 28, 2015
Hezbollah said its fighters destroyed a number of vehicles carrying Israeli officers and soldiers and caused casualties among “enemy ranks”.
It said the attack was carried out by a group calling itself the “heroic martyrs of Quneitra”, suggesting it was retaliation for an Israeli air strike on the Golan Heights on January 18 that killed six Hezbollah fighters and an Iranian general.
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would respond “forcefully”.
“My recommendation to those who challenge us in the north is to take a look at what happened in Gaza,” he said.
“The IDF is responding now to the incident in the north. The IDF stands ready to act forcefully on all fronts.”