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Palestinian teenager killed in West Bank raid

BEIRUT: Beirut's Rafic Hariri International Airport saw an influx of arrivals on Saturday as Lebanese expatriates and tourists ignored hostilities in the south and traveled to celebrate the Eid Al-Adha holiday.

European embassies had previously issued warnings against visits to Lebanon due to the tense security situation, but these warnings failed to deter expatriates and visitors, mainly from Iraq and Egypt, from arrive for Eid.

On the eve of the holiday, there was a noticeable gap in the prices of sacrificial animals in the Lebanese market, as well as an unjustified increase in meat prices.

Majed Eid, secretary of the Union of Butchers, Importers and Livestock Traders, said imports of sacrificial animals from abroad had decreased this year compared to previous years.

The security situation in the Tire region has led to a reduction in commercial activities in the run-up to Eid, despite the large influx of expatriates who usually boost commercial and economic activity there.

Tire Traders Association Secretary Ghazwan Halawani said Eid preparations seemed ordinary, with no notable improvement in business activity, sales or market visitors.

He attributed the decline to concern over military operations on the border and Israeli attacks on civilians.

On the eve of Eid Al-Adha, thousands of families from the southern region traveled to their villages near the border despite the hostilities.

Issa, a butcher, planned to spend the holidays with his family, even though his neighborhood had been sporadically bombed in recent months.

“Nothing will happen to us except what God has intended for us,” he said.

The Eid holiday will be a challenge for southerners, especially those who fled their villages eight months ago.

Eid Al-Adha presents significant challenges for the displaced in the south, with almost 100,000 people forced to leave their villages.

Nabatieh Governor Hwaida Turk told Arab News that 65 towns in Nabatieh governorate had been subjected to “systematic bombing and burning due to Israeli attacks.”

Some towns were almost destroyed, she said.

Turk said residents in frontline towns, particularly in the Marjayoun and Hasbaya regions, did not return for Eid.

However, villages and towns in the country's rear are populated by displaced people alongside their original inhabitants.

She said people in the southern region tried to celebrate Eid with hope despite the difficult economic conditions.

Hezbollah continued its retaliatory attacks against Israel on Saturday, days after an airstrike killed one of its commanders.

Air attacks from both sides intensified, with Hezbollah claiming to have carried out an attack “with a fleet of suicide drones on the Khirbet Maer base, destroying part of it.”

The attack followed the killing of a senior Hezbollah commander, Sami Hassan Taleb, nicknamed Abu Taleb, along with three others, during an Israeli attack on their location in Jouaiyya several days ago.

Israeli Army Radio reported that a fire broke out in the settlement of Goren in the western Galilee after several Hezbollah drones struck the area.

As part of this escalation, Hezbollah targeted the headquarters of the air surveillance and operations management unit at the Meron base.

Israeli media reported that “two anti-armor missiles launched from the Meron base were targeted.”

Hezbollah said it struck a group of Israeli soldiers at the Hadab Yaron site with a missile, killing or injuring several of them.

An Israeli military drone strike early Saturday killed a motorcyclist at the Bint Jbeil-Maroun Ras intersection. Another person was injured in the ensuing fire.

The outskirts of Deir Mimas and Aaziyyeh Hill were targeted by phosphorus bombing, causing fires in the forests.

Israeli army spokesperson Avichay Adraee claimed that “an air force plane targeted a Hezbollah vandal in Aitaroun,” adding that “the Israeli army bombed the area with artillery.

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