Photo Credit: Ayal Margolin / Flash 90
Israeli artillery unit firing shells towards Lebanon near the Israeli border with Lebanon, northern Israel, January 4, 2024.

The Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization in Lebanon fired a barrage of more than 60 rockets at northern Israel on Shabbat (Saturday) morning in what the terror group said was an “initial response” to the targeted assassination earlier in the week of Saleh al-Arouri, the Number 2 official in the Iranian-backed Hamas terrorist organization.

Unconfirmed reports posted on the X social media platform claimed the rocket barrage targeted — and succeeded in hitting — an Israeli air base atop Mount Meron. An IDF spokesperson declined to comment on the claim, but told, “We can confirm that an IDF base was targeted during the barrage of rockets this morning in the area of Mount Meron.”


Israeli military forces responded to the heavy barrage with a series of attacks on Hezbollah targets in Lebanon.

Rocket sirens were trigged in communities throughout northern Israel, warning of rocket fire and suspected infiltration of Hezbollah combat drones in the skies over Israel. By 6 pm, the terror group had launched at least six rocket and combat drone attacks on northern Israel.

Hezbollah later claimed responsibility for the attacks in the morning hours.

“We launched 62 missiles,” the terror group said in a statement. “This is the first response to the crime of assassinating the great leader Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut.”

Most of the rockets were aimed at towns in the Galilee and the Golan Heights, including Metulla and Margaliot; most were intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system. However, some of the rockets struck Mount Meron, where the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai is located. There were no reports that the tomb itself was struck.

Following the attack, the Israel Defense Forces attacked a Hezbollah terrorist cell that participated in launching the rockets at Israel.

IAF fighter jets and IDF soldiers also struck a series of Hezbollah terror targets in the areas of Ayta ash Shab, Yaroun, and Ramyeh in southern Lebanon. Among the targets struck were a launch post, military sites, and terrorist infrastructure.

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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.