Israel has reportedly begun a series of revenge airstrikes on neighboring enemy factions that have recently attacked the country. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) carried out two overnight strikes Wednesday against its Palestinian and Lebanese adversaries in Syria and Lebanon. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said it would target select militant groups in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula if they continued to attack Israel.
The “threat of terror from Sinai” toward Israel has been increasing, Brig. Gen. Royi Elcabets announced at a military ceremony Wednesday. “It is our duty to pre-empt it and strike at it, if and when this happens.”
Earlier this month, two rockets launched from Sinai hit Israel. There were no injuries or deaths but the attack was the first targeting Israel since Sinai militants rebranded under the Islamic State group flag. In the past, Sinai militants focused solely on Egyptian security forces but recently they’ve attacked Hamas members in the Gaza Strip and Israel.
Israel has been targeting enemies on both its northern and southern borders. Also on Wednesday, the IAF reportedly launched a drone strike in the Druze border town of Hader in Syria. The target was Samir Kuntar, a member of the armed Lebanese group Hezbollah, who spent 29 years in an Israeli prison for killing a 4-year-old Israeli boy before being released as part of a prisoner exchange.
“Israeli planes have been flying in the skies of Quneitra and the western Deraa countryside since [Wednesday] morning,” a member of Alwiyat Seif al-Sham, a Syrian rebel group in the area, told Reuters.
The strike hit a vehicle and killed at least five people, all of whom were fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad. At least two were members of Hezbollah. The three other victims are believed to have been members of Assad’s National Defense Forces, local volunteer militias armed by the regime.
“An Israeli plane hit a car inside the town of Hader, killing two men from Hezbollah, and three men from the pro-regime popular committees in the town,” Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, told Israeli news outlets.
In Lebanon, an airstrike from a manned plane killed at least one member and injured six others from an armed Palestinian group, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), the Associated Press reported.
The PFLP-GC is a pro-Syrian regime splinter organization of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Marxist Palestinian group that claimed responsibility for last year’s attack on a Jerusalem synagogue that killed four rabbis. The PFLP’s goal is to abolish Israel and create a unified Marxist government that would include members from all Palestinian factions.
Israel refused to confirm or deny the strikes.