Photo Credit: Municipality of Tzfat
Rockets fired by Hezbollah in Lebanon landed in the northern holy city of Tzfat. Feb. 14, 2024

A female IDF soldier was killed and eight other people were wounded in Tzfat on Wednesday morning in a missile barrage fired by Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon in a clear escalation of the conflict launched on October 8th against Israel by the terror group.

The missile fire scored a direct hit on a building in the northern holy city for the first time since the 2006 Second Lebanon War.


The soldier was identified as Staff Sergeant Omer Sarah Benjo, 20, from Moshav Ge’a. Benjo served as an intelligence coordinator in the 869th battalion.

Staff Sergeant Omer Sarah Benjo, HY”D

Other areas in the Upper Galilee were targeted as well, including several IDF bases and the city of Kiryat Shmona, which has been attacked repeatedly since October 8th. The Red Alert incoming rocket siren was not triggered in Kiryat Shmona.

Some of the rockets were aimed at the headquarters of the IDF Northern Command, and some targeted the Meron radar base, Israeli media reported.

“Numerous launches were identified crossing from Lebanon into the areas of Netu’a, Manara, and into an IDF base in northern Israel. The IDF struck the sources of the fire,” the IDF said.

At least one IDF base was indeed struck in the attack, according to Israeli government spokesperson Ilana Stein, who declined to identify which base was hit.

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) terror organization praised the “Islamic Resistance in Lebanon” for attacking an IDF base in Tzfat.

“This significant operation also sent important messages to mediators, especially the French mediator, about the failure of all attempts to contain and pressure the resistance to stop its responses or keeping it away from the borders with occupied Palestine,” the PFLP said.

First responders searched frantically in Tzfat through the rubble of the collapsed building, and tragically found the body of the soldier in addition to another seriously injured person. Electricity in some areas of the city was cut off following the attack.

MDA EMTs and Paramedics treated eight casualties on the scene and then evacuated them to Ziv Hospital in Safed. One person was listed in serious condition, three were reported with moderate injuries, and four others were in good condition.

The seriously wounded victim, who sustained head injuries, was subsequently transferred from Ziv to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, which specializes in such cases.

A total of 10 rockets were fired towards Israel, including some that were advanced precision-guided rockets.

Residents of the Upper Galilee around Tzfat and Meron have a window of approximately 30 seconds in which to reach a safe space between the time the Red Alert incoming rocket siren is triggered and the time of impact.

“Firefighters from the Galilee-Golan regional station have been working in the last hour to extinguish the flames in a building in Tzfat resulting from a direct hit by rocket fire from Lebanon,” the Northern Fire and Rescue service said in a statement.

“The teams, under the command of Reshef Oshri Almakais, are working to extinguish the fire, search for trapped people and cut off energy sources at the scene.”

Although the Red Alert incoming rocket sirens were not triggered in the city, two rockets landed in Kiryat Shmona, a city that has been repeatedly targeted by Hezbollah since the start of the war on October 7th.

A mother and her teenage son were seriously wounded just one day earlier (Feb. 13) in a Hezbollah anti-tank guided missile attack on the city. Both were airlifted to Rambam Medical Center in Haifa, where they are listed in serious but stable condition.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.