Israel uses Medieval weaponry to kindle Lebanon forest fires

Fires have started in both Lebanon and Israel as a result of recent fighting [Getty]

The Israeli army has used a medieval weapon to start fires in southern Lebanon, in an apparent attempt to expose Hezbollah militants hiding near the border.

After reviewing footage found online, The Times of Israel reported that Israeli soldiers used a trebuchet, an advanced catapult used in the Middle Ages, to launch incendiary devices into forested areas on the Lebanese side of the border.

The Israeli army is torching forests to get to Hezbollah fighters before they carry out operations against Israel, the Israeli daily added.

A spokesman for the Israeli army confirmed the use of the weapon but said that it was a “local initiative and not a tool that has come into widespread use”.

Fighting broke out between Israel and Hezbollah on 8 October last year, one day after Hamas launched a major attack on Israel. The war on Gaza has seen over 37,000 Palestinians, the vast majority civilians, killed.

On Wednesday, Hezbollah launched more than 200 rockets at northern Israel after Israel killed a senior commander from the group the previous evening.

Eight months of fighting between the group and Israeli forces has killed at least 467 people in Lebanon, most of them fighters but also including almost 90 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

Israel says at least 15 Israeli soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed.

US officials are currently “scrambling” to prevent an all-out war between Israel and Hezbollah, the US news website Axios reported on Wednesday.

President Biden’s administration has warned Israel against “a limited war” in Lebanon, the report added, saying that if this happens, pro-Iran militants could come from across the Middle East to fight with Hezbollah.

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