A video has surfaced showing the Israeli military using a trebuchet, a medieval mechanical siege weapon, to launch incendiary materials towards territory controlled by Hezbollah.

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An anonymous Israeli military official told NBC News that the trebuchet is not a part of their standard arsenal and was likely built by reservist soldiers.

Earlier this week, Hezbollah forces in Lebanon fired more than 200 rockets into northern Israel, making it the largest escalation at Israel’s northern border since October of 2023. The rocket attack appeared to be a response to Israeli forces killing a senior Hezbollah commander Taleb Sami Abdullah on Tuesday.

Abdullah was the commander behind attacks on several northern Israeli cities, recent arson attacks in Golan and Galilee, and missile attacks on Israeli cities and villages, according to The Jerusalem Post. Hezbollah senior official Hashem Safieddine declared Abdullah a martyr, and vowed that Hezbollah would “intensify our operations in severity, strength, quantity and quality.”

While the exact operational strategy behind the trebuchet is unclear, it could be an in-kind response to the arson attacks on Golan and Galilee by Hezbollah. Missiles struck near the cities in northern Israel and caused a forest fire on Thursday.

Hezbollah is both a Shiite Muslim political party in Lebanon and a military group that is effectively a proxy organization of Iran. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, “parts of Hezbollah—and in some cases the entire organization—have been designated as a terrorist group by the United States and many other countries.” Yoav Gallant, Israel’s Defense Minister, claimed in April 2023 that Iran gives Hezbollah $700 million annually.

France and the United States are working to negotiate a peace settlement between Hezbollah and Israel. However, Hezbollah has stated they will not agree to a ceasefire until Israel halts military operations in Gaza.

A week ago, Israeli forces rescued four hostages in Gaza. The four were among those taken in the October 7th Hamas attack in Israel: all were participants at the music festival near the Israel-Gaza border at the time. Last month, an Egyptian soldier was killed during a skirmish near Rafah.

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