Israeli strikes target emergency health centers in southern Lebanon, killing paramedics
By Arsenio Toledo // Mar 29, 2024

A series of overnight Israeli strikes struck southern Lebanon, including an emergency and relief center where at least seven volunteer paramedics were killed. A total of 16 civilians were reportedly killed in the strikes.

The fatal strikes come amid an increase in cross-border fire between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah in late March, leading to near-daily exchanges of munitions launches across the border. (Related: Latest Israeli attack on Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza KILLS 50 civilians, including several children.)

Reports indicate that the strike targeted the Islamic Emergency and Relief Corps in the border town of Hebbariyeh in southeastern Lebanon, less than five miles from Israel's northern border. The health center is linked to the Lebanese Islamist political organization Al-Jama'a al-Islamiya, otherwise known as the Islamic Group.

The strike against the health center hit the village shortly after midnight. Muheddine Qarhani, head of the Islamic Emergency and Relief Corps, told reporters at the scene that the paramedic center had been set up late last year and he was surprised that the medical group had been targeted.

Israeli statements claimed that the strikes targeted a high-ranking member of the Islamic Group who was responsible for attacks against Israel.

In a statement, Maj. Gen. Ori Gordin, head of the Israel Defense Forces' (IDF) Northern Command, said Israel was operating against the Islamic Group and had struck a "large number of operatives" and was also conducting "very significant strikes" against Hezbollah.

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"We are at war. We have been at war for almost half a year now, and it doesn't end with Hezbollah," he said during a statement in a meeting with other IDF commanders.

Al Jazeera reporter Zeina Khodr noted that the emergency health center was "totally destroyed," and that the townspeople who spoke with her told her that the people inside "were paramedics, volunteers and university students."

"They were helping the people in this border region where we've seen daily exchanges of fire between Israel and … Hezbollah," she added. She also said locals do not believe there were militants in the paramedic center. "This is nothing but fabricated lies … this was a civilian target."

Hezbollah's Islamic Health Society said two of its paramedics were killed in Israeli strikes on the town of Teir Harfa in southwestern Lebanon, less than three miles from the Israeli border.

Another civil society organization, the Islamic Risala Scout Association, another paramedic organization, said one of its members was also killed when Israeli strikes hit the coastal town of Naqoura, also less than three miles from the Israeli border.

"This is not the first time a health center has been hit in the ongoing confrontations along the border," said Khodr. "We've seen numerous attacks against health centers especially in frontline villages and we have seen paramedics killed."

In a statement, the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health condemned the Israeli strikes, saying that Israeli attacks on health centers "violate international laws and the Geneva Convention," which stresses the neutrality of health centers and health workers.

Hezbollah retaliates with rocket barrage against Israeli border town

Hours after the Israeli strikes, Hezbollah followed through on its promise to not let the attack "pass without punishment" by launching at least 30 rockets at the Israeli border town of Kiryat Shmona, which is less than a mile away from the border with Lebanon.

Israeli emergency services who responded to the Hezbollah strike reported that a 25-year-old factory worker in Kiryat Shmona was killed. The factory worker was killed when a direct hiy sparked a fire in an industrial park in the small city. Two others were wounded.

Nada Khleif, the owner of a bakery in Kiryat Shmona, said the rocket attack heavily damaged her business and a nearby apartment where some of her relatives lived.

"The bakery was my only means of living. It is gone now," she said.

The near-daily violence in Northern Israel and Southern Lebanon began on Oct. 8, the day after Hamas-led militants stormed into southern Israel in a surprise attack that sparked the brutal war in Gaza. It has mostly been confined to ill-defined areas along the border.

But as the conflict continues it threatens to spill out of control, and international mediators are working overtime to negotiate some kind of settlement between Israel and Hezbollah to prevent an all-out war.

The fighting has killed nine civilians and 11 soldiers in Israel. Meanwhile, Israel has killed at least 338 people in southern Lebanon. The IDF claims at least 240 of these deaths were Hezbollah fighters.

Learn more about the ongoing and escalating conflicts involving Israel at

Watch this short clip from Al Jazeera reporting on the Israeli airstrike in southern Lebanon that killed paramedics and other civilians.

This video is from the Cynthia's Pursuit of Truth channel on

More related stories:

WAR CRIME: IDF destroys main surgical wing of Al-Shifa Hospital, sabotaging ceasefire negotiations.

GENOCIDE JOE: White House supported Israel despite knowing they were indiscriminately bombing civilians in Gaza.

Gaza children now suffering from severe dehydration and malnutrition while Israel denies access for aid convoys.

Investigation finds U.S.- and U.K.-manufactured weapons were used to bomb British doctors in Gaza's humanitarian area.

Sen. Chuck Schumer turns on Netanyahu, demands Israel vote in new prime minister to stop Gaza genocide.

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