80,000 Israelis Displaced as War with Hezbollah Looms – Iran-Proxy Strikes Israel Over and Over

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NORTHERN ISRAEL – While Israel is battling Hamas, another terrorist threat is rising in the north. The Iranian proxy militia Hezbollah has been repeatedly launching rocket and missile strikes against Israelis from Lebanon. One of the worst attacks occurred on December 26th.

An ancient Christian village is the most recent target as hostilities keep intensifying at the Israeli-Lebanese frontier. Hezbollah missiles struck Saint Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in the village of Iqrit, wounding 10 people. The first missile wounded an 80-year-old man, and when the IDF went in to assist, a second missile wounded nine soldiers.

Lt. Col. Sarit Zehavi, with the Alma Research and Education Center, said, “The church, it’s on a hill and actually visible from Lebanon. It’s a very known spot and a symbol in the community. The fact that it was targeted shows a clear message from the attackers.”

The IDF responded, firing tank and artillery rounds. This eruption of violence follows months of rising tensions along the border.

Maj. Shadi Khaloul, a Maronite Christian, said, “Hezbollah should be disarmed. Once Hezbollah is disarmed, we will have peace with Lebanon and we will have peace with all the surrounding Arab countries.”

In the Maronite Christian village of Jish, life has been upended.

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Khaloul said, “Most of the people evacuated. In our town, actually, businesses are closed. You will hardly find people coming from outside and the restaurants and businesses work maybe half time, like half day. They have schools closed. Their children are at home… many people took their families to Haifa or other further places from the border because they don’t want to hear these bombings and artillery and shootings.”

Zehavi said, “The first missile hit a cabin near the church, causing a lot of destruction. The scene was chaotic, and there was a sense of fear among the people. One person was injured in that first attack.”

Leaders warn such violence threatens all groups regardless of faith, and puts increasing pressure on the Israeli government to stop the violence. In recent days, IDF airstrikes have struck dozens of Hezbollah sites inside Lebanon.

Zehavi said, “We are threatened by missiles every day, and it’s a harsh reality we live in. It doesn’t matter if you are Christian, Muslim, or Jewish; everyone is under threat. This kind of indiscriminate violence affects all communities.”

Khaloul explained, “This country is the only state that actually if Christians as a minority in it, feel safe and feel freedom and enjoyed democracy and values of Western values that we share together with other Western world. And if no (Israeli) state will exist here, Christians will not exist as well.”

With more than 80,000 Israelis displaced from the north, and daily attacks continuing, most feel a diplomatic solution is unlikely.

“There is a need for a military response to this situation,” Zehavi said. “The ongoing conflict with Hezbollah isn’t something that can be ignored. It’s a constant threat to the safety and security of everyone in the north of Israel.”

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