On Tuesday night, an Israeli war plane fired a missile at a number of homes in Bint Jbeil. One of these strikes led to the martyrdom of Lebanese-Australian Ibrahim Bazzi, his wife Shorouk Hammoud, and his brother Ali Bazzi.
The three were not the first civilians to be hit by Israeli strikes since the beginning of the escalations in October, as Israeli forces have repeatedly and deliberately targeted civilians and residential neighborhoods, including journalists, monasteries, civilian cars and residential houses.
According to ABC News, Ibrahim Bazzi had travelled back to Lebanon to visit his wife Shorouk, who recently acquired her Australian visa. The newly-wed couple were planning on starting life anew in Australia according to relatives.
The Australian government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has reportedly started investigating the reports of Bazzi’s death, while the Australian Associated Press was reportedly unable to independently verify the attack or the circumstances of the civilians’ death.
On its part, a Hezbollah announcement described Ali Bazzi as “a martyr on the road to Jerusalem”, a typical description of its fighters killed in combat during the past two months.
While the Israeli military did not comment explicitly on the incident, a Wednesday statement by chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said that Hezbollah is “trying to drag” Lebanon into a war.
An Increasing Death Toll
So far, over 150 individuals have been killed by Israeli forces in Lebanon, most of whom are members of Hezbollah but also members of the Lebanese Army, the Amal Movement and other groups.
Among those deaths are 19 civilians, many of whom were intentionally targeted by Israeli forces such as journalist Issam Abdallah on the 13th of October.
As the conflict rages on, Israeli forces have continued breaking international law by targeting civilians, using the internationally prohibited white phosphorus to burn swathes of Lebanese agricultural land, and various other fringes.
With the fighting taking on an increasingly regional character as numerous countries and military groups get involved, a ceasefire and an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land and its aggression on the region’s countries seem far from close.