Rocket fire has struck Haifa, Israel’s third largest city. Israel blamed the attack on Hizbollah which denied it had fired on the port, even though it had previously threatened to do so, if Israel targeted Beirut. There were no casualties but it was a psychological blow, bringing the conflict almost forty kilometres into Israeli territory.
Earlier on Thursday, three Israelis were killed in Hizbollah missile strikes, two in Safed and one in Nahariya. At least 90 people were injured as rocket barrages from Lebanon were fired into nearly 20 towns. The Israeli army says more than 100 rockets landed in northern Israel in what was the heaviest bombardment in a decade. Nahariya, 10 kilometres south of the border, took the brunt. The mayor said the town had come to a standstill.
Officials ordered residents in certain areas to go to bomb shelters and basements. More than half a million Israelis are reported to have taken shelter overnight from Thursday to Friday in bunkers. With the violence escalating, there is heightened tension among those people living closest to the border with Lebanon.